The Yellow Birds

Front Cover
Sceptre, 2012 - Iraq War, 2003-2011 - 226 pages
3 Reviews

WINNER OF THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD 2012

WINNER OF THE HEMINGWAY/PEN AWARD 2012

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST

AN AMAZON EDITOR'S PICK: BEST BOOKS OF 2012

A NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR

A TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR

AN INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE YEAR

A TLS BOOK OF THE YEAR

AN EVENING STANDARD BOOK OF THE YEAR

A SUNDAY EXPRESS BOOK OF THE YEAR

A GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR

A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR

A SCOTSMAN BOOK OF THE YEAR

A SUNDAY HERALD BOOK OF THE YEAR

AN IRISH TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR

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.

'THE YELLOW BIRDS is the All Quiet on the Western Front of America's Arab Wars.'

(Tom Wolfe, author of The Bonfire of the Vanities )

'Kevin Powers has conjured a poetic and devastating account of war's effect on the individual.'

(Damian Lewis, star of Homeland and Band of Brothers )

'Inexplicably beautiful'.

(Ann Patchett, Orange Prize-winning author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder)

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The Yellow Birds

User Review  - Barbara Hoffert - Book Verdict

Starkly, relentlessly absorbing (at first glance), this debut comes from an Iraq war veteran who joined the army at 17. Now he's a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, getting his MFA ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Awful!!!!!!!!!!!!
Takes what could have been a highly engaging story about war, soldiers, families and the greater effects of wars on the souls and lives of each one of us, and buries it in an
endlessly boring stream of pretentious, overblown phrases, pointless digressions and probably the clumsiest, most overwrought descriptions of every speck of dust, rock, tree, cloud encountered by the author that I've ever read, anywhere.
Reads like it's written by a smart and talented, but still self indulgent, high school student with a serious Hemingway fixation.
Whatever the critics were smoking or drinking when they reviewed this one, it must have been pretty potent....
 

All 3 reviews »

About the author (2012)

Kevin Powers was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, and holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Michener Fellow in Poetry. He served in the US Army in 2004 and 2005 in Iraq, where he was deployed as a machine gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar. His debut novel, THE YELLOW BIRDS won the Guardian First Book Award 2012 and was a New York Times bestseller in its first week of publication.

www.kevincpowers.com

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