Author(s): Tim O'Brien
Perhaps the best book to emerge from the Vietnam War, If I Die in a Combat Zone is a fascinating insight into the lives of the soldiers caught in the conflict. First published in 1973, this intensely personal novel about one foot soldier's tour of duty in Vietnam established Tim O'Brien's reputation as the outstanding chronicler of the Vietnam experience for a generation of Americans. From basic training to the front line and back again, he takes the reader on an unforgettable journey -- walking the minefields of My Lai, fighting the heat and the snipers in an alien land, crawling into the ghostly tunnels -- as he explores the ambiguities of manhood and morality in a war no one believes in.
Tim O'Brien was born in Minnesota and served as a foot soldier in Vietnam from 1969 to1970, and after graduate studies at Harvard worked as a reporter for the Washington Post. When If I Die in a Combat Zone was published in 1973, it established him as one of the leading American writers of his generation, a status that was confirmed when Going After Cacciato won the 1979 National Book Award for fiction.