Places and Names: Dispatches of War
Hardback $39.99 - Penguin UK
Biography & Memoir - Published: 18/Jun/2019 - ISBN: 9780241355169
In a refugee camp in southern Turkey, Elliot Ackerman sits across the table from Abu Hassar, who fought for Al Qaeda in Iraq and whose connections to the Islamic State are murky. At first, Ackerman pretends to have been a journalist during the Iraq War, but after he establishes a rapport with Abu Hassar, he reveals that in fact he was a Marine. Ackerman then draws the shape of the Euphrates River on a large piece of paper, and his one-time adversary joins him, filling in the map with the names and dates of where they saw fighting during the war. They discover they had shadowed each other for some time, a realisation that brings them to a strange kind of intimacy.
Elliot Ackerman's extraordinary memoir explores how he came to this refugee camp and what he hoped to find there. Moving between his recent experiences on the ground as a journalist in Syria and his Marine deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, he creates a work of astonishing atmospheric pressure.
At once an intensely personal book about the terrible lure of combat and a brilliant meditation on the meaning of the past two decades of strife for America, the region and the world, Places and Names bids to take its place among our greatest books about modern war. Elliot Ackerman is the author of several novels to include Dark at the Crossing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and most recently Waiting for Eden. His writings appear in Esquire, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications, and his stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Travel Writing. He is both a former White House Fellow and Marine, and served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He divides his time between New York City and Washington, D.C. An astonishing reckoning with the nature of war from a National Book Award-shortlisted novelist and decorated former US marine.
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