The Yellow Birds: A Novel

Front Cover
Hodder & Stoughton, Sep 6, 2012 - Fiction - 240 pages
72 Reviews

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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ecataldi - LibraryThing

Wonderful, haunting, heartbreaking, chilling, compelling, and beautiful hardly begin to describe this novel. Literary giant, Tom Wolfe, described it as "The All Quiet on the Western Front of America's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jjaylynny - LibraryThing

Quietly devastating. Small story of a man's crumbling after serving in Iraq. This small story multiplied by thousands represents another generation of young men and civilians who are being destroyed by war and our indifference to them after they come home. Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Kevin Powers was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. A former soldier who served with the US army in Iraq in 2004-5, he studied English at Virginia Commonwealth University after his honorable discharge and received an MFA in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. His debut novel, The Yellow Birds, won the Guardian First book Award, the Hemingway Foundation/Pen Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His first collection of poetry, Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, was published in 2014 and was shortlisted for both the TS Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize.

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