The Longer We Were There

A Memoir of a Part-Time Soldier

Title Details

Pages: 208

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 09/15/2019

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5566-5

List Price: $25.95

The Longer We Were There

A Memoir of a Part-Time Soldier

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  • Description
  • Reviews

The war in Afghanistan creates an urgency for telling stories—between soldiers, as they hand off missions to each other, and between soldiers and civilians, trying to explain what is going on—while also denying a lot of the context that is important for the telling of that story. The landscape is so mountainous and isolating that one incident or anecdote might not fit into a bigger picture beyond itself. A patrol may have no effect on the one that comes next. The war has ground itself into such a stasis that it is hard to see movement or plot. Yet we’re there. We have to say something. We have to be accountable, even though the circumstances complicate the ability to talk about it while simultaneously creating a constant yearning to do so.

The Longer We Were There follows a part-time soldier’s experience over seven years in the Iowa Army National Guard. He enlists at seventeen into the infantry, then bounces between college classes, army training, disaster relief, civilian jobs, a deployment in Afghanistan—first on the Afghan-Pakistani border, then into a remote valley in the Hindu Kush Mountains—and finally comes home. His stories are about having one foot on each side of the civilian-military divide, the difficulty of describing one side to those on the other, and how, as a consequence of this difficulty, that divide gets replicated within the self.

Steven Moore’s stunning debut. . . .Moore’s narrative deftly weaves his deployment experiences in Afghanistan with commentary from great critical minds like Joan Didion, Maggie Nelson, Tim O’Brien, and Tobias Wolff in an attempt to tell the sprawling story of the war in Afghanistan from the perspective of a part-time soldier.

—Zoë Bossiere, New Books Network

Captures with honesty, precision, and humor, the bizarre, often liminal space National Guard soldiers occupy as civilians and soldiers. . . . Moore shatters stereotypical soldier portrayals with his attention to detail and his eye for particulars.

—Hugh Martin, Brevity

About the Author/Editor

STEVEN MOORE was born and raised in southeast Iowa and served seven years in the Iowa National Guard. His essays have appeared or are forthcoming in the Kenyon Review online, the Georgia Review, North American Review, Ninth Letter, and BOAAT, among other publications. He and his wife live in Corvallis, Oregon.