In Klay’s hands, Iraq comes across not merely as a theater of war but as a laboratory of the human condition in extremis. Redeployment is hilarious, biting, whipsawing and sad. It’s the best thing written so far on what the war did to people’s souls.
–Dexter Filkins, The New York Times Book Review
The best literary work thus far written by a veteran of America’s recent wars…a masterly collection of short stories about war and its psychological consequences. “Redeployment” is military for “return,” and Klay’s fiction peels back every pretty falsehood and self-delusion in the encounter between veterans and the people for whom they supposedly fought.
–George Packer, The New Yorker
Gritty, unsparing and fiercely observed, these stories leave us with a harrowing sense of the war in Iraq as it was experienced, day by day, by individual soldiers.
–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
Extraordinarily powerful…Have you been seeking the Tim O’Brien or the Joseph Heller or the Erich Maria Remarque for our foray into Iraq? Mission accomplished.
–Jeff Turrentine, The Washington Post
Phil Klay’s Redeployment is a clinic in the profanities of war and not a lick of it is gratuitous.
–Brian Castner, The Daily Beast
Klay’s gifts become more apparent with each new narrator and circumstance: his reach, his tonal control, his observational sophistication, the sheer emotional torque of his narratives. By the end, he had convincingly inhabited more than a dozen different voices and I felt I had learned more about Iraq than in any documentary or factual account.
–Edward Docx, The Guardian
Mr. Klay gives a deeply disquieting view of a generation of soldiers reared on war’s most terrible contradictions.
–Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
Klay — a Marine who served during the surge — has an eye and an ear for a single searing line of dialogue or a scene of maddening dissonance that can pierce your soul…Brilliantly manages to wring some sense out of the nonsensical — resulting in an extraordinary, if unnerving, literary feat.
–Jeff Labrecque, Entertainment Weekly
An excellent, upsetting debut collection of short stories. Klay’s own view is everywhere, existential and practical, at home and abroad, distributed with wonderful clarity of voice and harrowing specificity of experience among Army chaplains, enlisted men, Foreign Service officers, members of Mortuary Affair, and more.
–Kathryn Schulz, New York Magazine
In a book that’s drawing comparisons to classic war literature like Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Klay examines the deep conflict, in all of us, between wanting to tell our stories and wanting to protect them from being diminished or misunderstood.
–Julia Holmes, Men’s Journal
Delves deep into the subject of war, on masculinity and the difficult process of becoming a man. Focusing the experience so intensively allows greater themes to emerge—beneath the toughness and swagger are notes of suffering and grace, guilt, and responsibility. Redeployment feels destined to become part of the canon of “realistic” war fiction that has been written by veterans and civilians alike.
–Rebecca Bengal, Vogue Magazine
A powerful statement on the nature of war, violence, and the nuances of human nature.
A sharp set of stories…with violence and gallows humor dealt out in equal measure. Klay is a Marine veteran who served in Iraq, and the 12 stories reveal a deep understanding of the tedium, chaos and bloodshed of war, as well as the emotional disorientation that comes with returning home from it…A no-nonsense and informed reckoning with combat.
Important reading; pay attention.
–Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
Klay brilliantly captures the alternating terror and banality of modern war…Harrowing at times and blackly comic at others, the author’s first collection could become for the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts what Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is for the Vietnam War.
–Lawrence Rungren, Library Journal
Heartbreaking tales about soldiers in the Middle East.
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, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
As we try to understand the human costs of yet another foreign conflict, Phil Klay brings us the stories of the American combatants, told in a distinct, new, and powerful voice.
–Nathan Englander, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
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!
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
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. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
–Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
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
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 exhiliration in its effect.
–Patrick McGrath, author of Trauma
These stories are surgically precise strikes to the heart; you can’t read them without recalling other classic takes on war and loss—Conrad, Herr, Hemingway. Klay maps the cast of our recent Middle East conflicts and illuminates its literal, and philosophical center: human casualty.
–Lea Carpenter, author of Eleven Days
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
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, author of A Great Big Shining Star