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Soldiers' Stories: Memorial Day Reads

The Watch
by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

Approached by a solitary Afghan woman who is demanding the return of her brother's body for traditional burial, a group of beleaguered soldiers wonders if the woman is sincerely a mourning family member or if she is harboring a more sinister purpose. A Middle-Eastern spin on the classic myth of Antigone.
You Know When the Men are Gone
by Siobhan Fallon

An anthology of interconnected stories tours the experiences of Fort Hood military wives who are privy to each others’ lives by community housing and who share a poignant vigil during which they raise children while waiting for their husbands to return.
by Phil Klay

A collection of short stories by a former Marine captain and Iraq veteran focuses on the complexities of life for soldiers on the front lines and after, exploring themes ranging from brutality and faith to guilt and survival.
by Roxana Robinson

After four years in Iraq, Conrad Farrell returns to Katonah, New York, and he's beginning to learn that something has changed in his landscape. Something has gone wrong, though things should be fine: he hasn't been shot or wounded; he's never had psychological troubles. But as he attempts to reconnect with his family and his girlfriend and to find his footing in the civilian world, he learns how hard it is to return to the people and places he used to love.
by David Abrams

A satirical tale set in the chaotic world of Baghdad's Forward Operating Base Triumph traces the daily experiences of men and women soldiers who avoid combat by remaining at the base and spending their days playing video games, watching television and getting acquainted in empty portable toilets.
Sand Queen
by Helen Benedict

Meeting on a remote desert base in Iraq, Private Kate Carlson and Naema, an Iraqi medical student whose father and young brother have been detained in a U.S. prison camp, overcome their disparate backgrounds through the shared trauma of military sexual abuse.
The Yellow Birds
by Kevin Powers

Two friends, both U.S. soldiers in Iraq, cling to life and each other as a bloody fight to take control of the city of Al Tafar rages around them and they stave off fatigue, mental stress and insurgents.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
by Ben Fountain

Asked to be part of the Dallas Cowboys' Halftime Show, Specialist William Billy Lynn, one of the eight surviving men of the Bravo Squad, finds his life forever changed by this all-American event that causes him to better understand difficult truths about himself and those around him.