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You Know When the Men Are Gone Kindle Edition
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|Length: 240 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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“The explosive sort of literary triumph tthat appears only every few years. As such, it should not be missed.”—New York Journal of Books
“Fascinating.”—O, the Oprah Magazine
“[A] searing collection.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Poignant...compelling...likely to inform and move many readers.”—The Boston Globe
“Prose that's brave and honest.”—People
“Each of Fallon's stories leaves the reader wanting more...compulsively readable and memorable, stories of unsung courage displayed by characters hard to forget.”—The Denver Post
“Lovely and wrenching...vivid and elegant...a compassionate yet unflinching portrait of the mdoern-day home front.”—Los Angeles Times
“Terrific...and terrifically illuminating.”—The Washington Post
“Each story's characters immediately grip the reader.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“[A] powerful, resonant debut collection.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“In this poignant and beautiful collection of linked stories, Siobhan Fallon has created a world of characters we need to know. These are our wounded, our courageous, our disheartened, our cynical and our brave. You won't read these stories on the front pages of the newspaper, but still they feel like a news flash about the emotional toll of war. You Know When the Men Are Gone delivers to us the inner lives of families who fight for our country while fighting their own deepest fears and demons. This is a brave and illuminating book.”—Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion
“Siobhan Fallon is a remarkable debut author whose first collection of short stories, You Know When the Men Are Gone, signals the debut of a new American talent. I was drawn into a world I had never seen before, and found heartache, courage, and laughter there.”—Jean Kwok, author of Girl in Translation
“What a fascinating, rare glimpse into the domesticity of war. This is a wonderful debut. Each beautifully rendered story is braced with intelligence and wisdom.”—Jill Ciment, author of The Tattoo Artist
“There is the war we know—from Hollywood and CNN, about dirt-smeared soldiers disarming IEDs and roaring along in Humvees and kicking down the doors of terrorist hideouts—and then there is the battleground at home depicted by breakout author Siobhan Fallon, an army wife with a neglected, deeply important perspective and a staggering arsenal of talent, her sentences popping like small arm fire, her stories scaring a gasp out of you like tracer rounds burning in the night sky over your home town.”—Benjamin Percy, author of The Wilding, Refresh, Refresh, and The Language of Elk
“Siobhan Fallon's You Know When the Men are Gone is a haunting elegy to those who bear the real burden when our nation goes to war: the spouses and children left behind. She writes with the authority of hard-earned experience, and this collection of stories has much to teach us all.”—Nathaniel Fick, author of One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer
“A brilliant work of fiction that speaks a haunting truth on every page. This is an important work that should be embraced by the military community and beyond.”—Tanya Biank, Author of Army Wives, the basis for the Lifetime TV drama Army Wives
“A stunning debut. Fallon's prose is spare and clean and beautiful, but it is her characters that will leave you breathless...This is a devastating book, and beautiful. Devastatingly beautiful.”—Michael David Lukas, author of The Oracle of Stamboul
“Fallon writes with grace and intelligence about the army wives at Fort Hood who are waiting for their men to return from Iraq...a poignant debut, written with the kind of love and detailed accuracy that can only come from living behind the barbed wire at Fort Hood...You Know When the Men Are Gone is funny, sad, wise, and essential.”—Rebecca Rasmussen, author of The Bird Sisters
“Siobhan Fallon's You Know When the Men Are Gone helps close the cultural gap in understanding between military families and civilians. These stories hold a mirror up to the lives of servicemembers and their spouses, and because the tales are beautifully and sensitively told, they spur conversations that Americans need to engage in.”—Alison Buckholtz, author of Standing By: The Making of an American Military Family in a Time of War
About the Author
- File size : 611 KB
- Publication date : January 20, 2011
- Print length : 240 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons; 1st edition (January 20, 2011)
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- ASIN : B00475ARTS
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #754,371 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I understand where they were coming from but don't agree. The polish earned from an MFA is just that - polish and skill. So it's not a negative unless education and training are somehow considered a bad thing.
I was a soldier, and almost none of Fallon's fictional narratives rang falsely or contrived. If they didn't happen to me, they happened to someone I knew. The crummy homecomings, the stress, the fear and frustration. I understand that many readers would want stories that focus on the positive, but at least from my point of view, I'm not emotionally affected by "positive" stories. I don't read fiction for the happy ending, because it usually won't make me feel anything special. These are stories about men at war and women at home, and if they aren't heartbreaking, I'm not sure what the point would be.
A couple of the stories didn't ring false, but weren't as strong as others. A couple do end very abruptly, and while I don't expect to have my hand held, I do prefer a solid conclusion. But, short stories don't always exist to give the reader a complete conclusion - they exist as moments of time.
But, any small complaints aside, I really liked these stories. She presented fully-realized characters who came across as real people living believable representations of events. I cared about the characters, and I liked how Fallon connected the stories together with their repeated appearances across the stories. Sometimes it was just a subtle repetition of a name; other characters were equally pivotal in multiple stories, but in different ways.
It would be a shame if concerns about the "negative" storylines steered readers away - and I'm not sure Fallon's fellow Army wives or other veterans are the best audience anyway. They don't really need Fallon's made-up stories about what they lived through.
But after 10 years of war, there's value here to NON-military readers. Most of the stories are heartbreaking and sad, but that's what happens when you're 21 and you get your foot blown off, and then your wife leaves you. It isn't happy. It is sad. And guess what - it happens, and not that rarely.
So, fictionally, this is as close as most readers will come to those kind of hard days, but at least it will open that window a tiny bit.
There's so much more to military life than this handful of short stories portrays, but yes, these things do happen and these are some of the struggles that real families face. I don't want to say I 'liked' this book because that feels wrong given the subject matter, but I did want to read it in its entirety, and I really came to feel for the couples that were portrayed here. I know this is a work of fiction, but being military my entire life...first a military child, now a military wife...I know the author saw these stories (or something similar) first or second hand.
Some of the things in this book are a bit outdated at his point in time, but the stories, at their heart, are not. These things have been going on since the dawn of the military. They went on during WWI...WWII...Vietnam...Afghanistan...and will continue to go on in wars and conflicts to come. Some military families make it, and some don't. That's the reality, and I feel like this book did a good job of portraying just a small glimpse of that.
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of stories. I was born and raised in a city that houses the largest Army installation in the United States. The base itself is insular, and it wasn't until my return after a ten year absence from my hometown, that I was able to work along side army wives, veterans, and soldiers. I love hearing about their experiences, their hometowns, and how they're coping. These stories could be about anyone, and wherein their beauty lies. I was left wanting more! I read the opening paragraph at 1:00 this afternoon, and read the final sentence four hours later. That's not characteristic for me, but the interweaving stories were so immersive, her style of prose so welcoming. I cannot wait to read her full length novel, The Confusion of Languages.
This is an amazing collection of short stories, by a brilliant author.
I read it non-stop, cover to over. Bravo!
While accurate in some regards, it lacked stories of resiliency and familial courage and instead looks primarily at spouses from the lens of our worst stereotypes.
Be guarded. Be skeptical. The Army is both better and worse than the stories told here.
I was at Fort Hood at the time this book came out. Ive been back since. I am glad i read this book.
Top reviews from other countries
way of life I knew very little about. I have never been a huge fan of short stories but each story held it's own and the common place;
i.e. the American army base in Texas, held it all together. Once I started one story, I had to read until I finished!
It's one of those books that you miss when it's over...and not just for women - my husband loved it as well.