Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien knows a thing or two about Minnesota where our book, In the Lake of the Woods, takes place (born there in 1946), Vietnam (served there in 1969), and writing (contributor to magazines , The Washington Post, and award-winning author of numerous books.) Among these awards is the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians for the 1994 book,  In the Lake of the Woods. O'Brien's 1990 book, The Things They Carried, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. To learn more about Tim O'Brien, read his 1999 President's Lecture at Brown University. In addition, you can refer to a critical analysis of our book selection in the context of the My Lai Massacre.


Evelyn said...

Our discussion of the book reflected the befuddlement we felt about it. Most, but not all, of the group did not care for the book, concentrating their comments on the characters, particularly John Wade, and the story itself. Our readers also debated the question which the book begs you to contend with: what happened to Kathy Wade? There were differing opinions as to whether it was murder or something else. I am thinking that this difference of opinion is a perfect example of how people can arrive at different ideas of the "truth." I believe that might have been the author's primary intention in writing this book.

Jilana said...

I wasn't able to attend the discussion, but in general I think I would have disagreed with the group. I loved this book. The writing is astounding. Once again - as in "The Things They Carried" - O'brien takes you right into what it feels like to be in a war. And the ambiguity of what happened to Kathy Wade seemed to me to be a continuation of the ambiguity John felt in the war, and in all of his life. I don't think we needed to know what actually happened to Kathy - or John for that matter - but it was more a story about how we can get lost in our own minds and lives when we experience great trauma.