My Life as a Foreign Country.pdf

My Life as a Foreign Country.pdf


In 2003, Sergeant Brian Turner was at the head of a convoy of 3,500 soldiers as they entered the Iraqi desert. Ten years later, he lies awake beside his sleeping wife, hallucinating: he is a drone aircraft. He hovers over a landscape in which the terrains of every conflict, of Bosnia and Vietnam, Iraq and Northern Ireland, the killing fields of Cambodia and the death camps of Europe, are pressed together, and the violence is on-going. The hallucination recurs, and every night Sergeant Turner is forced to observe anew all that man has done to man. My Life as a Foreign Country follows the experience of one soldier in one recent war - the preparations, actions, homecomings and infinite aftermath - but then explodes from those narrow limits. Unburdened by nostalgia, hollow sympathy or a journalistic hunger for fact, this account combines the recalled with the imagined, and leaps centuries and continents to seek parallels in the histories of other men. The result is an opportunity to enter the head of a man still stalked by war, to experience conflict with new definition and lasting effect.

Brian Turner, born in 1967, is an American poet, essayist and professor. He won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award for his debut collection, Here, Bullet, the first of many awards and honors received for this collection of poems about his experience as a soldier in the Iraq War. His honors since include a Lannan Literary Fellowship. His second collection, shortlisted for the 2010 T.S. Eliot Prize, is Phantom Noise. Turner served for seven years in the US Army. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq from November 2003 with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. In 1999-2000 he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division.


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