Monday, March 1, 2021

Two writers who don't write about war

I have not mooched a cigarette from novelist Philip Caputo (A Rumor of War, Horn of Africa). I have not traded email with writer Karl Marlantes (Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War). 

I have, however, spent a little time with Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried, Going After Cacciato): I’ve cadged two or three of the Carltons he smokes incessantly and traded stories about spending time in casinos. 

I’ve also corresponded with writer Steven Pressfield over the past several years, and could call him a friend I’ve never met in person.

Both Tim and Steve have inhabited the world of war as the stage on which they write, but neither of them would consent to be labeled “a war writer.”