I'd Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them: A Novel

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A “powerful” novel of young soldiers in Afghanistan and on the home front (Esquire).
 
A Florida Book Awards Gold Medalist
 
Longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize
 
Winner of the Military Writers Association of America Bronze Medal
 
Wintric Ellis joins the army as soon as he graduates from high school, saying goodbye to his girlfriend, Kristen, and to the backwoods California town whose borders have always been the limits of his horizon. Deployed for two years in Afghanistan in a directionless war, he struggles to find his bearings in a place where allies could at any second turn out to be foes.
 
Two career soldiers, Dax and Torres, take Wintric under their wing. Together, these three men will face an impossible choice: risk death or commit a harrowing act of war.
 
The aftershocks echo long after each returns home to a transfigured world, where a veteran’s own children may fear to touch him and his nightmares still hold sway. Moving backward and forward in time to track these unforgettable characters from childhood to parenthood, from redwood forests to open desert roads to the streets of Kabul, I’d Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them is a work of disarming eloquence and heart-wrenching wisdom from “one of the very rare authors who writes with authoritative insight into the warfare of the twenty-first century” (Robert Olen Butler).
 
“Bracing, riveting.” —Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone
 
“Add Jesse Goolsby to the list of promising military-experienced writers including Phil Klay.” —Military Times
 
“One of the best works of literature to come from these wars.” —storySouth
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About the author

Jesse Goolsby is an Air Force officer and the author of the novel I'd Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them. His fiction and essays have appeared in Narrative, Epoch, the Literary Review,Alaska Quarterly Review, the Greensboro Review, and other publications. He is the recipient of the Richard Bausch Fiction Prize, the John Gardner Memorial Award in Fiction, and a Holland & Knight Distinguished Fellowship from the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts. He has earned honorable mentions in both The Best American Essays and The Best American Short Stories, and his work has been included in The Best American Mystery Stories. Goolsby was raised in Chester, California, and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
Jun 2, 2015
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9780544381025
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / War & Military
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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By turns subversive and darkly comic, brutal and tender, Ron Leshem’s debut novel is an international literary sensation, winner of Israel’s top award for literature and the basis for a prizewinning film. Charged with brilliance and daring, hypnotic in its intensity, Beaufort is at once a searing coming-of-age story and a novel for our times—one of the most powerful, visceral portraits of the horror, camaraderie, and absurdity of war in modern fiction.

Beaufort. To the handful of Israeli soldiers occupying the ancient crusader fortress, it is a little slice of hell—a forbidding, fear-soaked enclave perched atop two acres of land in southern Lebanon, surrounded by an enemy they cannot see. And to the thirteen young men in his command, Twenty-one-year-old Lieutenant Liraz “Erez” Liberti is a taskmaster, confessor, and the only hope in the face of attacks that come out of nowhere and missions seemingly designed to get them all killed.

All around them, tension crackles in the air. Long stretches of boredom and black humor are punctuated by flashes of terror. And the threat of death is constant. But in their stony haven, Erez and his soldiers have created their own little world, their own rules, their own language. And here Erez listens to his men build castles out of words, telling stories, telling lies, talking incessantly of women, sex, and dead comrades. Until, in the final days of the occupation, Erez and his squad of fed-up, pissed-off, frightened young soldiers are given one last order: a mission that will shatter all remaining illusions—and stand as a testament to the universal, gut-wrenching futility of war.


The basis for the Academy Award-nominated film of the same name.


Winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction · Winner of the John Leonard First Book Prize · Selected as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post Book World, Amazon, and more 

Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned.  Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos.

In "Redeployment", a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people "who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died."  In "After Action Report", a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn't commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened.  A Morturary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains—of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both.  A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel.  And in the darkly comic "Money as a Weapons System", a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball.  These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming.

Redeployment is poised to become a classic in the tradition of war writing.  Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss.  Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation.
Powerful and lean, Eleven Days is an astonishing first novel full of suspense that addresses our most basic questions about war as it tells of the love between a mother and her son. When the story opens on May 11, 2011, Sara’s son, Jason, has been missing for nine days from a Special Operations Forces mission on the same night as the Bin Laden raid. Smart, young, and bohemian, Sara had dreams of an Ivy League university for Jason that were not out of reach, followed by a job on the Hill where there were connections through his father. The events of 9/11 changed Jason’s mind and Sara accepted that, steeping herself in all things military to better understand her son’s days, while she works as a freelance editor for Washington policy makers and wonks.

Now she knows nothing more about Jason’s fate than the crowds of well-wishers and media camped out in the driveway in front of her small farmhouse in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, waiting to hear news. In a series of flashbacks we learn about Jason’s dashing absentee father, a man who said he was a writer but whose career seemed to involve being in faraway places. And through letters Jason writes home from his training and early missions, we get a picture of a strong, compassionate leader who is wise beyond his years and modest about his abilities. Those exceptional abilities will give Jason the chance to participate in a wholly different level of assignment, the most important and dangerous of his career. At the end Sara will find herself on an unexpected journey full of surprise.

This is a haunting narrative about a mother’s bond with her son; about life choices; about the military, war, and service to one’s country. Lea Carpenter, a dazzling new talent with the kind of strong and distinctive voice that comes along all too rarely, has given us a thrilling and unforgettable story. 


This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide. 
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