The Yellow Birds
by Kevin Powers

Overview - Finalist for the National Book Award, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive in Iraq

"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss.  Read more...

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More About The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
Finalist for the National Book Award, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive in Iraq

"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for.

In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined.

With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel that is destined to become a classic.

  • ISBN-13: 9780316219341
  • ISBN-10: 0316219347
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books
  • Publish Date: April 2013
  • Page Count: 256
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.52 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > War & Military
Books > Fiction > Literary

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A finalist for the National Book Award, Kevin Powers’ unforgettable debut novel, The Yellow Bird, tells the chilling story of two young soldiers whose platoon is deployed to Iraq. Private Bartle, 21, and Private Murphy, 18, have been together since basic training at Fort Dix, when Bartle pledged to his young comrade’s mother that he would protect him and ensure his safe return home. In Iraq, they’re led through the maze of war by Sergeant Sterling, a gruff, seasoned veteran who urges them on during a deadly battle for the northern Iraqi city of Al Tafar. But the impulse to fight fails to take hold of Bartle, who struggles under the burden of his promise to keep his young friend alive. And Murphy himself is suffering. Pushed to the edge by the pressures of combat, he loses his grip on reality. Spanning six years—2003 to 2009—and recounted from Bartle’s perspective, this compelling narrative of modern-day war and its aftermath has all the makings of a classic. Powers, who served as a machine-gunner in Iraq, drew on his own haunting experiences to produce this novel. It’s a first-class work of fiction that captures the awful complexities of war.

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