An unforgettable depiction of the psychological impact of war, by a young Iraq veteran and poet, THE YELLOW BIRDS is already being hailed as a modern classic. WINNER OF THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD 2012
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
AN AMAZON EDITOR'S PICK: BEST BOOKS OF 2012
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A TLS BOOK OF THE YEAR
AN EVENING STANDARD BOOK OF THE YEAR
A GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
A SUNDAY HERALD BOOK OF THE YEAR
AN INDEPENDENT BEST WINTER READ
An unforgettable depiction of the psychological impact of war, by a young Iraq veteran and poet, THE YELLOW BIRDS is already being hailed as a modern classic.
Everywhere John looks, he sees Murph.
He flinches when cars drive past. His fingers clasp around the rifle he hasn't held for months. Wide-eyed strangers praise him as a hero, but he can feel himself disappearing.
Back home after a year in Iraq, memories swarm around him: bodies burning in the crisp morning air. Sunlight falling through branches; bullets kicking up dust; ripples on a pond wavering like plucked strings. The promise he made, to a young man's mother, that her son would be brought home safely.
With THE YELLOW BIRDS, poet and veteran Kevin Powers has composed an unforgettable account of friendship and loss. It vividly captures the desperation and brutality of war, and its terrible after-effects. But it is also a story of love, of great courage, and of extraordinary human survival.
Written with profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on families at home, THE YELLOW BIRDS is one of the most haunting, true and powerful novels of our time.
This moving debut from Powers (a former Army machine gunner) is a study of combat, guilt, and friendship forged under fire. Pvt. John Bartle, 21, and Pvt. Daniel Murphy, 18, meet at Fort Dix, N.J., where Bartle is assigned to watch over Murphy. The duo is deployed to Iraq, and the novel alternates between the men s war zone experiences and Bartle s life after returning home. Early on, it emerges that Murphy has been killed; Bartle is haunted by guilt, and the details of Murphy s death surface slowly. Powers writes gripping battle scenes, and his portrait of male friendship, while cheerless, is deeply felt. As a poet, the author s prose is ambitious, which sets his treatment of the theme apart as in this musing from Bartle: though it s hard to get close to saying what the heart is, it must at least be that which rushes to spill out of those parentheses which were the beginning and end of my war. The sparse scene where Bartle finally recounts Murphy s fate is masterful and Powers s style and story are haunting.
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The yellow birds
Heartbreakingly true account of the horrors & ramifications of war on the soldiers who serve us & the families left behind an emotional read