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Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story

Friedman, Matti

755 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1616204583 / ISBN 13: 9781616204587
Published by Algonquin Books, 2016
Used Condition: Used: Very Good Soft cover
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Very good.Paperback Advanced Reading Copy. Paperback Plain cover pre-release first-edition. Artwork black and white, some artwork and images might be missing. Copy not final and there may be typos. Bookseller Inventory # OD051665

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier's Story

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Publication Date: 2016

Binding: Softcover

Book Condition:Used: Very Good

About this title


“A book about young men transformed by war, written by a veteran whose dazzling literary gifts gripped my attention from the first page to the last.”The Wall Street Journal

“Friedman’s sober and striking new memoir . . . [is] on a par with Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried -- its Israeli analog.”The New York Times Book Review

It was just one small hilltop in a small, unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples that are still felt worldwide today. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; flowers was the military code word for “casualties.” Award-winning writer Matti Friedman re-creates the harrowing experience of a band of young Israeli soldiers charged with holding this remote outpost, a task that would change them forever, wound the country in ways large and small, and foreshadow the unwinnable conflicts the United States would soon confront in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.

Pumpkinflowers is a reckoning by one of those young soldiers now grown into a remarkable writer. Part memoir, part reportage, part history, Friedman’s powerful narrative captures the birth of today’s chaotic Middle East and the rise of a twenty-first-century type of war in which there is never a clear victor and media images can be as important as the battle itself.

Raw and beautifully rendered, Pumpkinflowers will take its place among classic war narratives by George Orwell, Philip Caputo, and Tim O’Brien. It is an unflinching look at the way we conduct war today.

From the Back Cover:

“A compelling narrative, freighted with explosive geopolitical implications.” —Booklist, starred review

When I went back to the Pumpkin in the fall of 2002 I thought it was a conclusion--an end to that war, and to the disquiet it left me and the others it touched. But I know now that I was wrong. It wasn’t a conclusion. On the hill in 1995 we had been at the start of something: of a new era in which conflict surges, shifts, or fades but doesn’t end, in which the most you can hope for is not peace, or the arrival of a better age, but only to remain safe as long as possible. None of us could have foreseen how the region would be seized by its own violence--the way Syria, a short drive from the outpost, would be devoured, and Iraq, and Libya, and Yemen, and much of the Islamic world around us. The outpost was the beginning. The present day might still be the beginning. The Pumpkin is gone, but nothing is over. —from Pumpkinflowers

“Poignant and fascinating. Matti Friedman tells a war story with a journalist’s rigor and eye for detail, and a poet’s touch. He manages to be lyrical, graceful, and deeply evocative even when tackling the harshest subjects imaginable.” —Lucette Lagnado, author of The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit

“Evocative, emotionally wrenching, and yet clear-eyed and dispassionate, Matti Friedman’s haunting war memoir reminds one of Michael Herr’s unforgettable Vietnam memoir, Dispatches.”—Kai Bird, author of The Good Spy

“A historical jigsaw puzzle and an examination of Israel’s fraught national identity. Friedman illuminates the confusion at the heart of the conflict and chillingly echoes America’s own slide into prolonged wars in the Middle East.” —Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone

“Inspiring, heartbreaking, illuminating. Matti Friedman’s brilliant account of a forgotten war seen through the lens of a simple soldier is at once a coming-of-age story and an essential chronicle about how the twenty-first century was born.”—Yossi Klein Halevi, author of Like Dreamers


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