Phil Klay. New York: The Penguin Press, 2014. 291 pp. $26.95.
Reviewed by Lieutenant Commander Christopher Nelson, U.S. Navy
Over the past 12 years there have been a small but notable number of novels published on the Iraq War. Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds and Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk—both National Book Award finalists—come to mind. We can now add former Marine and public-affairs officer Phil Klay’s magnificent novel Redeployment to that list.
Redeployment is a collection of a dozen short stories about the Iraq War and the psychological effects it leaves on those who have seen its face. The voices on the page are mostly Marines—officer and enlisted—and the stories are told in a powerful first-person prose.