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An unforgettable depiction of the psychological impact of war, by a young Iraq veteran and poet, THE YELLOW BIRDS is already being hailed as a modern classic.
WINNER OF THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD
A soldier's broken promise ... a mother's loss ... an agonizing truth. THE YELLOW BIRDS gives a powerful, emotional insight into the human cost of war - its impact on soldiers, their families, and most of all what it is like to return home, but never be able to leave the memories behind. Kevin Powers served two terms as a machine gunner with the US army in Iraq. On his return, he was asked one question more than any other: "What was it like over there?"
THE YELLOW BIRDS is his attempt to reckon with that question.
Extraordinary . . . beautifully accomplished. The mark of an artist of the first order . . . a must-read book. - JOHN BURNSIDE, GUARDIAN
'Remarkable for its intensity of both feeling and expression. In this book about death, every line is a defiant assertion of the power of beauty to revivify, whether beauty shows itself in nature or (later) in art. - HILARY MANTEL, GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR
The best book I have read this year - IRISH TIMES
A stunning read . . . beautiful [and] devastating. - SIMON MAYO, BBC RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB
A masterpiece ... a classic. - THE TIMES, BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Harrowing, inexplicably beautiful, and utterly, urgently necessary. - ANN PATCHETT, Orange Prizewinning author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder
A wonderful, powerful novel that moves and terrifies. - INDEPENDENT
A stunning achievement - visceral [and] poignant. - SUNDAY TIMES
A masterpiece ... a classic. - THE TIMESBOOKS OF THE YEAR
THE YELLOW BIRDS is a wonderful, powerful novel that moves and terrifies. - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
Powers has written a compassionate, poetic ev
A stunning achievement, visceral [and] poignant. - SUNDAY TIMES
A masterpiece ... a classic. - THE TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Tautly written and unforgiving in its depiction of the human cost of war. - THE
Remarkable for its intensity of both feeling and expression. In this book about death, every line is a defiant assertion of the power of beauty to revivify, whether beauty shows itself in nature or (later) in art. Graves, Owen and Sassoon would have recognised this war and the strange poetry it has bred. - HILARY MANTEL, GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR
As war novels go, THE YELLOW BIRDS is a triumph, mining the conflict in Iraq to investigate universal questions of the extent to which we are in control of our lives; the degree to which we are capable of exercising free will. As debuts go it's better yet, with an opening as arresting and beautiful as any I have recently encountered - G2, Guardian
Tautly written and unforgiving in its depiction of the human cost of war. - THE TIMES
An extraordinary novel . . . remarkable . . . stands with Tim O'Brien's enduring Vietnam book, The Things They Carried, as a classic of contemporary war fiction . . . brilliantly observed and deeply affecting. - MICHIKO KAKUTANI, NEW YORK TIMES
I found in THE YELLOW BIRDS by Kevin Powers a vivid, poetic account of modern warfare. Powers joined the US Marines at 17, going on to serve as a machine gunner in Iraq, and each line bleeds hard-fought truths. - RICHARD GODWIN, EVENING STANDARD BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Kevin Powers was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. A former soldier who served with the US army in Iraq in 2004-5, he studied English at Virginia Commonwealth University after his honorable discharge and received an MFA in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. His debut novel, The Yellow Birds, won the Guardian First book Award, the Hemingway Foundation/Pen Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His first collection of poetry, Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, was published in 2014 and was shortlisted for both the TS Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize.