He was sent home with a Purple Heart when he got hit with shrapnel in a grenade attack.
His first writing about his war experiences came in the form of a memoir called in 1990.
Henry Dobbins is a large, strong, dependable, unsophisticated machine gunner.
He carries extra rations and wears his girlfriend's pantyhose tied around his neck.
"Abstraction may make your head believe, but a good story, well told, will also make your kidneys believe, and your scalp and your tear ducts, your heart, and your stomach, the whole human being." —from The Things They Carried , Tim O’Brien had what some would call a typical 1950s American childhood in rural Minnesota before he was sent to fight in Vietnam as a foot soldier in 1969.
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Published in 1990 to vast critical acclaim and written with the help of a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship, a novel about his experiences in that war, has sold well over two million copies worldwide and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
More recently, the book was included among Amazon.com’s “List of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” and was credited as the inspiration for a National Veterans Art Museum exhibit of the same name in Chicago.
The book is part memoir, part fiction, and O’Brien―the original master of truthiness―wishes you luck figuring out which is which.
His many accolades include a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Book Award, an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships.
He nearly stopped writing after his sixth book, about?