This week I sat down with former US Army Captain Matt Gallagher to talk about his debut novel Young Blood. I have to admit, I’m not routinely drawn to contemporary war novels, but when a friend suggested I read this book (and I began to devour it) I realized how important it was for me to read outside my comfort zone. I LOVED it. And, it only deepened my respect for the men and women willing to fight on my behalf, even if I am conflicted about war itself.
Young Blood centers around a young Lt. Jack Porter, a platoon commander of 40 men, stationed in Ashuriyah, Iraq, performing counterinsurgency operations as the military prepares to withdraw from Iraq. Matt (who is also the author of the acclaimed Iraq memoir Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War, based on the popular and controversial blog he kept while he was deployed) spent years in Iraq. So, you’re in the hands of someone who knows what he’s talking about.
I really enjoyed this conversation because the subject matter was so far from my experience, and, because Matt was such a gracious and generous guest. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Do let me know @litupshow on Twitter & Instagram.
Gallagher holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has written for the NY Times, the Atlantic, the Daily Beast and Boston Review, among others.