The Yellow Birds: A Novel

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Little, Brown, Sep 11, 2012 - Fiction - 240 pages
95 Reviews
A novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive.

"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for.

In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined.

With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel that is destined to become a classic.
 

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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

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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 is the author of The Yellow Birds, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and was a National Book Award Finalist. He 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. This is his first collection of poetry.

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