My Life As A Foreign Country: A Memoir
W. W. Norton
Brian Turner
An Excerpt
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This week Storyville presents an excerpt from Brian Turner’s, MY LIFE AS A FOREIGN COUNTRY: A MEMOIR (W.W. Norton, 2014). His poetry and essays have been published in The New York Times, National Geographic, Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and other journals.

 

Turner’s book has been widely praised.  Author Nick Flynn called it “Achingly, disturbingly, shockingly beautiful,” and Tim O’Brian, the celebrated novelist of the Vietnam War, called Turner’s memoir “a humane, heartbreaking, and expertly crafted work of literature.”

 

Jen Percy, writing in the New York Times, said:  “My Life as a Foreign Country,” Brian Turner’s stunning war memoir, is a triumph of form and content, and a praiseworthy example of how the empathetic imagination can function beautifully in nonfiction writing. Turner, who served seven years in the United States Army and has written two well-­received poetry collections about his deployments to Bosnia and Iraq, here revisits his wartime experience with extraordinary intimacy, exploring  ‘the spaces between moments,’ ‘the gaps of memory’ and the ‘quiet spaces of history.’ The book becomes a record of engagement between the self and the unknown.”

 

Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon before serving for seven years in the US Army. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division (1999-2000).  Currently Turner lives in Orlando, Florida.

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