Triage: A Novel

Scott Anderson

ISBN 10: 0684846950 / ISBN 13: 9780684846958
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[ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ][ Ships Daily ] [ Underlining/Highlighting: NONE ] [ Writing: NONE ] [ Edition: Reprint ] Ex-library copy Publisher: Scribner Pub Date: 10/12/1998 Binding: Hardcover Pages: 240 Reprint edition. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis:

In this hypnotically beautiful debut novel, Mark, a young war photographer, returns to New York after being slightly injured in a Third World brushfire war. He had spent a few frightening days in the recovery ward of a dilapidated, overcrowded hospital, but can this explain his sleeplessness, distraction, his wounds' inability to heal? Elena, Mark's Spanish girlfriend, grows more and more alarmed by his strange behavior, while she also tries to calm her pregnant friend Diane, whose photographer husband has gone missing in the same war zone.

As Mark continues to deteriorate, Elena's grandfather sweeps onto the scene. Joaquin is the last person from whom Elena wants to accept help; once very close to him, she ended all contact after learning of his role in "purifying" conscience-stricken officers after the Spanish Civil War. In treating Mark, Joaquin sees a way back into his granddaughter's life, and, despite Elena's disapproval, the two men begin to forge an extraordinary relationship. Eventually, all three travel to Joaquin's manor home in southern Spain so that Mark can find a safe haven in which to heal. It is in this romantic and haunted Spanish valley where both men's secrets surface with life-altering force and where Mark and Elena attempt to know and love each other again.

Reminiscent of the work of Tim O'Brien and Philip Caputo, this stunning novel is informed by Scott Anderson's experiences reporting on combat around the globe. A literary page-turner about the aftermath of war in the lives of survivors and their loved ones, Triage introduces a major new voice in American fiction.

Review: There's a whole lot of triage going on in Scott Anderson's debut novel. First, there is the triage at the small Kurdish hospital where Mark Walsh, a wounded American war photographer, has been brought, in the wake of a battle between Kurdish separatists and Iraqi troops: those men deemed unlikely to survive by the woefully overworked and underequipped doctor in charge are summarily shot. Then there is the triage Mark himself performs after returning to the States as he goes through his various shots, sorting out which images will make the cut. Finally, there is the central mystery of what Mark saw and did during his time in Kurdistan--events so traumatic they continue to haunt him even after his physical wounds have healed. Though there appears to be no medical reason for it, Mark can't walk, and his Spanish girlfriend, Elena, is eventually forced to accept help from her estranged grandfather, Joachim--a psychiatrist who helped "purify" the consciences of Franco's fascist officers following the Spanish civil war.

Eventually the three travel together to Spain, where Mark, with Joachim's help, must face the secret he cannot bear to remember. As Joachim and Mark slowly forge a relationship with each other, they also strengthen their separate bonds to Elena. But as each man reveals his experience of war to the other, it becomes clear that when well-intentioned men commit evil acts--even for the best of reasons--there will always be a high price to pay.

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Title: Triage: A Novel
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