Posted on November 11, 2021 at 2:25 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

In honor of Veterans Day, NPR has been interviewing veterans about their service — and their literary efforts.

One author has done both fiction and nonfiction.

Elliot Ackerman, who served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Marines, released a memoir in 2019 (Places and Names) and a novel earlier this year (2034).

He told Terry Gross that writing became a way for him to process the extremes of war — which he describes as both the “absolute, most extreme forms of depravity that human beings are capable of” and “the absolute, most noble, heroic and selfless acts that people are capable of.”

Audio of his Fresh Air appearance is embedded at the bottom of this post; you can also read interview highlights on NPR's website.

The other author interviewed is a freshly minted one: U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, whose They Called Us "Lucky": The Life and Afterlife of the Iraq War's Hardest Hit Unit just came out.

Like Ackerman, Gallego served in Iraq and focused his writing not just on what happened during war, but what happened afterwards, both to himself and his comrades.

You can read his All Things Considered interview on NPR’s website and listen to the audio of it below.

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Categories: Author Interview

Tagged As: Author interview, Memoir, NPR

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