My April #shortstories column is up at PopMatters, focusing on the faces of war we rarely get to see in the news other than in terms of numbers & under the umbrella term “casualties of war”; stories that show the many individual and heartbreaking ways that innocents get caught in the middle.
These five stories by Zadie Smith, Mohammed Naseehu Ali, Helen Oyeyemi, Hassan Blassim, and Muna Fadil are free to read online — just click the story title links.
Throughout time, the large-scale violence that entire groups of people inflict upon other groups has been depicted in all forms of art. In the literary arts, in particular, the aesthetics of war have long been glorified or explicated through tales of heroes and tales of disillusionment, chronicles of fighters and resistors, historically accurate accounts and revisionist retellings.
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With the short story form, there have been some game-changing, award-winning collections, from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, about Vietnam, to Phil Klay’s Redeployment (Penguin, 2014) about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These have not sought to glorify violence but to show us the many individual and heartbreaking ways that wars are waged, witnessed, and resisted.