Editor’s Note: Matt Gallagher’s first novel, Youngblood, about the Iraq War has recently been published by Atria Books. You can watch a video about the inspiration for Youngblood here. We asked him to reflect on what war novels move him.
That war stories must occur in strange lands far from home, filled with bullets and blood, remains a powerful fallacy. The consequences and effects of war can’t be contained so neatly. Stories of war are stories of love, stories of loss and longing, stories of hope. Stories of war are stories of before and after, of inheritance and memory. The best stories of war are so much more than stories of armed conflict. They are stories of humanity.
Here are twelve novels of war that explore exactly that.