War Stories

Each year the Pritzker Military Library honors a living author for a body of work that enriches knowledge of American military history. This Lifetime Achievement Award offers more than just prestige. Winners receive a $100,000 honorarium (and a medallion!). The 2013 winner is novelist and short story writer Tim O'Brien.

O'Brien served as an infantryman in the Vietnam War. He began his literary career in 1973 with a memoir titled "If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home." He went on to publish many novels and short stories about the experience of the Vietnam War. These include "The Things They Carried" and "In the Lake of the Woods." He won the National Book Award in 1979 for "Going After Cacciato."

Rick Atkinson, previous winner of this prize and member of the selection panel, praises Tim O'Brien for prose that transcends the particulars of his own wartime experience to increase our understanding of war in general.

O'Brien's books have long been popular with SLCL readers. "The Things They Carried" is even available as a Book Discussion Kit. If you haven't already, now might be a good time to check out this talented writer.

--Jennifer A., Headquarters

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