September’s book: THE YELLOW BIRDS by Kevin Powers
by Jamie Klingler
Our next book is something of a departure from our usual fare: THE YELLOW BIRDS by Kevin Powers. It has a list of awards and plaudits longer than my leg (the fact I have short legs shouldn’t detract from that statement) from sources as varied as the New York Times, the Hemingway/Pen award, and, er Damian Lewis, so should make for a good read.
An unforgettable depiction of the psychological impact of war, by a young Iraq veteran and poet, THE YELLOW BIRDS is already being hailed as a modern classic.
Everywhere John looks, he sees Murph.
He flinches when cars drive past. His fingers clasp around the rifle he hasn’t held for months. Wide-eyed strangers praise him as a hero, but he can feel himself disappearing.
Back home after a year in Iraq, memories swarm around him: bodies burning in the crisp morning air. Sunlight falling through branches; bullets kicking up dust; ripples on a pond wavering like plucked strings. The promise he made, to a young man’s mother, that her son would be brought home safely.
With THE YELLOW BIRDS, poet and veteran Kevin Powers has composed an unforgettable account of friendship and loss. It vividly captures the desperation and brutality of war, and its terrible after-effects. But it is also a story of love, of great courage, and of extraordinary human survival.
Written with profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on families at home, THE YELLOW BIRDS is one of the most haunting, true and powerful novels of our time.
To get us back on track in terms of dates, we’ll be meeting again at the end of the month – 7pm, Tuesday 24th September (please do note the date – not strictly an August meeting!) in the Rugby Tavern in Holborn. The nearest tubes are Holborn, Russell Square and Chancery Lane. Any questions, as ever, drop us a note to LondonBookClub at outlook dot com, or find us at #LondonBookClub on Twitter.