Artist Emily PrinceÂ has a show going on at London’s Saatchi Gallery called
The idea for the show is as simple as it is powerful: to sketch the faces of American casualties of war in the Middle East.Â
In conjunction with Ms. Prince’s work, CultureKiosque also reviewed my book, “Heart of War: Soldiers’ Voices from the Front Lines of Iraq.”Â They said:
“Damon DiMarco has assembled an unflinching compilation â€” first person narratives of returning military personnel â€” that personalizes Americaâ€™s involvement in Iraq in a manner all-too-rarely covered by mainstream media. Ignorance, political duplicity, corporate greed and corruption, incompetence, right-wing cynicism, marital infidelity, sexual abuse and the dishearteningly widespread indifference to the existential and medical needs of war veterans are among the issues documented here. Whether voiced by naÃ¯ve farm kids, street smart city dwellers or the sons and daughters of Americaâ€™s elite, the accounts of horrors, brutality and pathos are relentless and devastating.
Order Heart of War by clicking the book cover below.
This probably should have been discussed a while back. Better late than never, I guess.
Last June, I was walking around the Book Expo of America in the Jacob Javits Center here in New York. I passed by a table filled with galleys for a bookÂ called Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq. The author was someone named Michael Anthony.
I was intrigued. I took a copy. One of the great things about BEA: free books!
Here’s the spooky part: I got home that day and found anÂ e-mail waiting for me from a guy namedÂ – you guessed it – Michael Anthony.
Michael wasÂ an Army medic in Iraq. Mass Casualties is his memoir about the experience. He wasÂ asking if I’d be willing to read his book and offer a quote. He said he could have the publishers send a copy right away.
I looked down at his book, which was on my desk, andÂ typedÂ out myÂ response.Â “As luck would have it? Sending a copy won’t be necessary…”Â
Weird that I’d picked up the galley that very afternoon.
Long story short, here’s the quote I eventually offered:
â€œCompelling. Frank. Funny. Disturbing. Michael Anthony loses his innocence in a slow motion train wreck you canâ€™t help but watch. Mass Casualties opens up a brand new conversation on the War in Iraq.â€
Author of Heart of War: Soldiersâ€™ Voices from the Front Lines of Iraq
Mass CasualtiesÂ came out in October or November of 2009. So . . . why would I mention it now?Â Two very good reasons:
First, my lovely new website allows me to post news of this sort. So I’m posting it. So there.
Second (and much more importantly), Mass Casualties is a good read. Michael’s done a fine job. His book creates a generous and highly-specific thread inÂ the tapestry depicting the lives of modern U.S. soldiers.
If you’re interested in that sort of thing, pick up a copy of Mass Casualties. I bet you won’t be sorry. You can order a copy by clicking on the book’s cover above, or by clicking here.Â
And it goes without saying that you should also pick up copy of Heart of War: Soldiers’ Voices from the Front Lines of Iraq. Click the book’s cover below. An e-book edition is now available.
Congratulations to myÂ friend Garrett Hendricks for winning the January 2010 Manhattan Monologue Slam using a piece from my playÂ Shock & AweÂ (for more information on Shock & Awe, please see the Plays tab).
You can catch a video of Garrett’s winning performance by clicking here.
I’mÂ under contract with Prometheus Books to write My Two Chinas: The Memoir of a Chinese Counterrevolutionary with noted political dissident Tang Baiqiao.
Â As a student leader from Hunan Province, Mr. Tang helped to organize the protests that later culminated in the so-called â€œJune 4th Incidentâ€ in Tiananmen Square, Beijing in 1989.
Mr. Tang was hunted down and thrown in jail by the Chinese Communist government for nearly three years. During this time he was tortured both mentally and physically.
With the aid of the underground Pro Democracy movement in China, he later escaped to Hong Kong where he was granted political asylum by the United States. Since 1992,Â he has led the fight for a free and Democratic China while in exile.
Tentative release date: Early 2011.
Talk about a great honor.
I was recently contacted by a man named John Churcher from Massachusetts, who’s working to build a library for the newly commissioned USS New York.
This library will include books about (among other things) the Navy, Marines, and SEALS written by former Navy veterans such as Roger Staubach, Senator John McCain, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George Bush Sr., Ross Perot, and Montel Williams. That’s quite a bunch.
John requested some copies of Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 .
Thanks for asking, John. It’s a pleasure to take part in such aÂ worthwhile venture.