Happy publication day to THE ROAD AHEAD, a stunning and diverse new anthology of fiction by veterans, edited by Afghan Post author Adrian Bonenberger and The Long Walk author Brian Castner.

 

From debut writers to experienced contributors whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker, these stories of “the Forever War” in Iraq and Afghanistan reflect the entire breadth of human emotionloss, anger, joy, love, fear, and courageand the evolving nature of what has become America’s unending trial in the Middle East. As Roxana Robinson says in her brilliant foreword, “it’s hard to mention one story without mentioning all of them, because all of them are compelling, engaging, and essential commentaries on a theme that has been a part of human history since history was first painted on smooth surfaces.” And the collection would not be the perfect whole that it is without each individual story and experience captured within it. For that reason I’d like to mention each contributor here, with gratitude:

 

Elliot Ackerman

Nate Bethea

Adrian Bonenberger

Benjamin Busch

Brandon Caro

Michael Carson

Brian Castner

Maurice Emerson Decaul

David F. Eisler

Teresa Fazio

P.J. Frederick

Thomas Gibbons-Neff

Colin D. Halloran

Lauren Kay Halloran

Matthew J. Hefti

Alex Horton

David James

Eric Nelson

Shannon Huffman Polson

Matthew Robinson

Kristen L. Rouse

Kayla M. Williams

Brandom Willitts

Christopher Paul Wolfe

 

More praise:

 

An anthology of stories covering a literary terrain as expansive as the seemingly endless ‘war on terror’ that spawned it. These stories provide plenty of revelation on the nature of the war and the soldiers who continue to fight it.”Kirkus Reviews

 

The writers gathered in these pages are among the finest, and the material they are working with is, by its nature, powerful and compelling. The result is stories that are by turns brutal and hilarious, dark and redemptive. Every one of them speaks to a truth we should not, cannot, turn away from.”Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author of Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War

 

These twenty-four intimate, brutal, unusual and honest portraits show us the startling effects of war, dispelling the myth that any military solution is simple. To this diverse group of writers, women and men, I say thank you for your wrenching stories. The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is greater than we could have imagined.”Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Once Upon a River and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters

 

The Road Ahead more than lived up to its promisea shockingly brilliant salvo in the next wave of literature about our perpetual wars, a diverse and strange new literature which is utterly essential if we want to understand who we are as a nation, and what this era of constant war is doing to us, to our military, and to the countries where we send our men and women to kill and die.”Phil Klay, National Book Award Winning author of Redeployment

 

If war is eternal, its form alters with the times. These vivid stories are the up-to-date bulletins from the frontline of today. Injustices abound, meaning eludes us, until for moments, it doesn’t. These writers deliver gut-wrecking reports of humanity at the edge of despair and offer us truths about the nature of war and the men and women struggling to survive it.”Susan Minot, author of Thirty Girls and Evening

 

A stunning, poignant, astonishing, mournful, melancholy, brutally honest collection of stories about our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and makes this old soldier’s heart sore. They are so well written. If you want to understand our young soldiers and the world they lived in, read these stories.”Larry Heinemann, National Book Award-winning author of Paco’s Story and Black Virgin Mountain

 

 

Catch events tonight at The Strand in New York City and January 28th at Politics & Prose in Washington, DC.

 

Buy your copy here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound