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Outside the Wire: American Soldiers' Voices from Afghanistan Hardcover – April 15, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (April 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813934117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813934112
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,206,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Outside the Wire gives voice to soldiers who so often go mute and who so often retreat into isolation and despair, unable or unwilling to attach language to personal experience. The narratives and anecdotes collected in this wonderful volume are as varied and as unpredictable and as idiosyncratic as humanity itself. In this collection the reader will encounter anger, grief, laughter, loneliness, joy, terror, bitterness, redemption, hope, and cynicism. I was spellbound.

(Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried and Going After Cacciato)

Outside the Wire gives me hope. Our young men and women in the U.S. military experience the terror and horror of war. Through Christine Leche's extraordinary new collection of their eyewitness stories, we can see how the process of writing offers them a way to live."—

(Maxine Hong Kingston, editor of Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace)

Outside the Wire is testimony of the most important kind. If there are any truths to be learned from our long wars they may well be found in these pages. A powerful, and powerfully necessary, collection.

(Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds)

While most kids in writing classes are busy grumbling about extracurriculars, unrequited love, and long lines at the grocery store, these contributors met with Leche – a writing instructor who taught at Bagram Airfield near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border – amid combat missions, firefights, and the psychological battles that continue to haunt soldiers thousands of miles and years away from war. It's too easy to become consumed in the quotidian flotsam and jetsam of first-world life; we collectively lose touch with the harsh realities of foreign wars. Take a step toward better understanding an American soldier with what Kevin Powers called a 'powerful, and powerfully necessary, collection.'

(Austin Chronicle)

In some ways, it was like any other writing class: backpacks, books, rough drafts, discussions about literature. But instructor Christine Dumaine Leche and her students weren't sitting in a college classroom or a community center — they were on an air base in Afghanistan and the students usually came to class after long days in a war zone. Leche was teaching them to translate their experiences — the danger, the boredom, the painful separation from their families, the fear and the hatred — into prose. Out of that classroom came dozens of intimate narratives of life as a soldier.

(NPR)

About the Author

Christine Dumaine Leche is an Instructor in English and Creative Writing at Austin Community College.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mandi on April 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a book which needed to be written! It gives an incredible perspective on what it means to live as a soldier in a war zone. This book will change the way you look at war and the American soldiers role in it.
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Format: Hardcover
An outstanding opportunity to read essays by soldiers in battle in Afghanistan. The author Christine Dumaine Leche wrote an outstanding forward and summation of her experience as the soldiers' instructor. This book is most appropriate for students in college English classes, for service members and their families and friends, and for veterans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Trousdell on June 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an empathetic and powerful portrayal of the complex lives of military members working 'downrange'. Professor Chris Dumaine Leche understands their complex reality and, as a Master Teacher, guides the students to an enriched understanding of their day-to-day lives through the medium of creative writing. One does not need to agree with the foreign policies that launched their military assignments or even 'agree' with each of the soldier's perspectives to appreciate the importance of the entries. The essays are very well written and the context of their production - the assignments Professor Leche designed, the committment Professor Leche demonstrates by working with the students and with the endless tasks associated with producing this book - is admirable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By itis on May 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We civilians think we know, but we don't really get it. Now, I know. Being a war time soldier is beyond not easy. It is unimaginable. The most revealing, from the heart book that I have ever read about the real life of a war time soldier. Unforgettable.
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By Janice on January 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
THis is a very informative book of chronicles of these fine soldiers who protect us for our right to freedom. It tells of bravery and courage that they have maintained. Some are telling of their awful home lives before entering the military. Truly heart wrenching to read what our soldiers endure in places worse than hell.
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