My Life as a Foreign Country: A Memoir by Brian Turner

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Read My Life as a Foreign Country: A Memoir Online Free - A war memoir of unusual literary beauty and power from the acclaimed poet who wrote the poem “The Hurt Locker.”

In 2003, Sergeant Brian Turner crossed the line of departure with a convoy of soldiers headed into the Iraqi desert.
Now he lies awake each night beside his sleeping wife, imagining himself as a drone aircraft, hovering over the terrains of Bosnia and Vietnam, Iraq and Northern Ireland, the killing fields of Cambodia and the death camps of Europe.

In this breathtaking memoir, award-winning poet Brian Turner retraces his war experience—pre-deployment to combat zone, homecoming to aftermath. Free of self-indulgence or self-glorification, his account combines recollection with the imagination's efforts to make reality comprehensible. Across time, he seeks parallels in the histories of others who have gone to war, especially his taciturn grandfather (World War II), father (Cold War), and uncle (Vietnam). Turner also offers something that is truly rare in a memoir of violent conflict—he sees through the eyes of the enemy, imagining his way into the experience of the "other." Through it all, he paints a devastating portrait of what it means to be a soldier and a human being.

Title : My Life as a Foreign Country: A Memoir
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0393245012
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 pages


Craig rated it ★★★★★

February 08, 2015

Great book, probably the best on the growing shelf of writing by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. As much poetry as memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country assembles a montage of fragments--images, memories, dreams--that communicate the multiple dimensions of experiences that are at the sa...

Diletta rated it ★★★★☆

December 13, 2016

A metà tra il memoir e la poesia, e forse molto di più. La visione di Turner è potentissima: quella di un uomo che si porta dietro, costantemente, e dovrà infatti fare i conti con l'accettare questo carico, uno zaino pieno di ricordi e di uomini.

Trish rated it ★★★★★

January 19, 2015

This shattering memoir describes clear as photographs the heat signatures of memory, the “shadows articulated by light.” It is terribly beautiful and the reverse, both. Shards of sentences fracture the consciousness. Turner tells us the pop-pop-pop of machine guns is patient and sounds sometimes...

Roger rated it ★★★★★

November 16, 2016

Brian Turner’s memoir My Life as a Foreign Country is a profound and compassionate meditation on the pain and confusion of war. Its impact deserves commendation beside such classics as Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and Philip Caputo’s A Rumor of War. With vivid musings and mesmerizing ins...

Joe rated it ★★★★★

August 11, 2017

While I was fortunate to never have seen combat, I was a soldier. My first orders sent me to South Korea where, at 22-years-old, I led my first platoon. What Brian has done here is to paint the soldier's canvas in such an honest, visceral, emotional way that lends itself to a level of understandi...

Patricia rated it ★★★★★

September 24, 2014

I wanted to read this memoir because it was recommended to me by one of my favorite memoir writers, Kelle Groom. Like Turner, Groom published a couple books of poetry before publishing a memoir and we can see the lyric DNA here in both books' bones. The similarities between the two memoirs do not...

David rated it ★★★★★

September 17, 2014

Turner's memoir in narrative poetry nails a deep dive down into a somber topic: war. Turner's genius manifests in pitting his life against the dramatic scars of his service in the Army's Infantry. Turner talks so much about ghosts and dreams and the lost. But he does so in a way that only cherish...

Mike rated it ★★★★★

October 24, 2014

A memoir. Yes, but the poetic prose is hypnotic in the telling. Moving through WWI, WWII, Vietnam and the experiences of his great-grandfather, grandfather and uncle add to his sense that war is timeless and continuous. "How does anyone leave a war behind them, no matter what war it is, and someh...

Tina rated it ★★★★★

January 25, 2015

Honest. Original. A book to savor.

Simone rated it ★★★★☆

February 22, 2017

Una famiglia di militari, generazioni di combattenti. Dalla prima guerra mondiale, passando per l'ex Jugoslavia, fino ad arrivare all'Iraq (al quale è dedicato gran parte del libro) Lirico, ma anche altrettanto pratico, d'altronde una guerra è fatta di corpi, persone. Turner procede per istantanee,...

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