Random House, Inc. A dazzling debut that forms an immensely moving portrait of the war in Afghanistan and life in, and after, the army.
With his harrowing debut, Luke Mogelson provides an unsentimental, unflinching glimpse into the lives of those forever changed by war. Subtle links between these ten powerful stories, filled with narrators teetering on the edge and locations as far flung as Dahana, magnify the spectrum of the war's effects on soldiers and those around them, and the violence that carries over from Afghanistan and bleeds into their everyday lives. Troubled veterans first introduced as criminals in "To the Lake" and "Visitors" are shown later in "New Guidance" and "Hellfire," in the fighting that shaped their futures. A seemingly insignificant soldier in "New Guidance" becomes the protagonist of "Dogging Bear," where his self-interest has fatal consequences. The fate of a hapless Gulf War vet who reenlists in "Sea Bass" is revealed in "Peacetime," the story of his equally self-destructive National Guard buddy. A shady contractor job gone wrong in "A Beautiful Country" is a news item for a reporter in "Total Solar." Shifting in time and narrative perspective--from the home front to active combat, between experienced leaders, flawed infantrymen, a mother, a child, an Afghan-American translator, and a civilian journalist--these stories take the full measure of the human scale of war. Here is an evocative, deeply powerful work about duty, loss, and the redemptive force of storytelling, charting the legacy of violence and the plight of people hungry for atonement. Written with remarkable insight,These Heroic, Happy Dead heralds the arrival of an extraordinary new talent.
Baker & Taylor A collection of short stories focuses on the war in Afghanistan and the lives of soldiers serving in the army, both during their tours of duty and their return home as veterans.