'We shot dogs. Not by accident. We did it on purpose and we called it "Operation Scooby". I'm a dog person, so I thought about that a lot' So begins this unprecedented book about the human cost of war by former marine captain and Iraq veteran, Phil Klay. Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, Redeployment marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation.
A timeless portrait of the tragedy and folly of war
* Phil Klay's stories are tightly wound psychological thrillers. The global wars of our last decade weave in and out of these affecting tales about characters who sound and feel like your neighbors. Klay comes to us through Leo Tolstoy, Ray Carver, and Ann Beattie. It's a thrill to read a young writer so brilliantly parsing the complexities and vagaries of war. That he does so with surgical precision and artful zest makes this a must-read -- Anthony Swofford, author of JARHEAD * Redeployment is fiction of a very high order. These are war stories, written with passion and urgency and consummate writerly skill. There's a clarity here that's lacerating in its precision and exhilarating in its effects -- Patrick McGrath * If you want to know the real cost of war for those who do the fighting, read Redeployment. These stories say it all, with an eloquence and rare humanity that will simultaneously break your heart and give you reasons to hope -- Ben Fountain When the history of these times are finally shaken out, and the shredders have all been turned off, we will turn to writers like Phil Klay to finally understand the true nature of who we were, and where we have been, and where we are still going. He slips himself in under the skin of the war with a muscular language and an agile heart and a fair amount of complicated doubt. Redeployment will be one of the great story collections of recent times. Phil Klay is a writer of our times -- Colum McCann * These are gorgeous stories - fierce, intelligent and heartbreaking. Phil Klay, a former Marine, brings us both the news from Iraq and the news from back home. His writing is bold and sure, and full of all sorts of authority - literary, military and just plain human. This is news we need to hear, from a new writer we need to know about -- Roxana Robinson, author of SPARTA * Redeployment is a stunning, upsetting, urgently necessary book about the impact of the Iraq war on both soldiers and civilians. Klay's writing is searing and powerful, unsparing of its characters and its readers, art made from a soldier's fearless commitment to confront those losses that can't be tallied in statistics. "Be honest with me," a college student asks a returning veteran in one story, and Phil Klay's answer is a challenge of its own: these stories demand and deserve our attention -- Karen Russell, author of SWAMPLANDIA! * To most, the war in Iraq is a finished chapter in history. Not so to the Marines, family members, and State Department employees in Phil Klay's electrifying debut collection, Redeployment. Thanks to these provocative and haunting stories, the war will also become viscerally real to readers. Phil Klay is a powerful new voice and Redeployment stands tall with the best war writing of this decade -- SIOBHAN FALLON, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone * America's recent military misadventures have produced some searingly brilliant writing of late but Repeployment is so good as to put one in mind of the enduringly excellent; O'Brien, Hemingway, even Crane. Phil Klay turns his mercilessly analytical eye into various unexplored corners of the combat experience; from the crazed non-language of acronym to the distant anguish of the artilleryman to the profound problems of decompression and re-adjustment back into a society which the returning soldier has killed for but which he no longer understands and which cannot understand him. It is stuffed full of the magic and wonder and terror of life. After the first reading I immediately began the second, still hungry for the power of its prose and the reward and fascination of its insights. Truly haunting, and truly, indisputably, brilliant -- NIALL GRIFFITHS * Phil Klay's writing is humane, honest, robust and rich. It hooks you in and doesn't let you go. His stories are about men trained to a level of brutality that enables them to justify their actions in the most banal of terms: 'We just killed some bad guys.' But these American soldiers themselves end up as victims of the insane logic of the war machine, unable to function in any other context. Klay's unsparing prose reminds us what a disaster the occupation of Iraq has been for all concerned -- JAMES ROBERTSON, author of The Testament of Gideon Mack
Phil Klay is a veteran of the US Marine Corps and served in Iraq. His work has featured in the New York Times and Granta. This is his first book.