Phil Klay has won the National Book Award for fiction for his debut short story collection, “Redeployment.” He served as a Marine in Iraq and his experiences have helped him capture the terror, boredom and occasionally the humorous side of war.
He described returning from the war and being treated as if he were unstable, and being asked by children if he had killed anyone.
“I came back not knowing what to think,” he said. “What do you do when you’re trying to explain in words, to the father of a fallen Marine, exactly what that Marine meant to you?”
He said writing fiction about his experiences helped him to process it. “I can’t think of a more important conversation to be having,” he said. “War is too strange to be processed alone.”
Some of the stories take place in Anbar Province, while others are set in the United States as soldiers struggle to readjust to civilian life.