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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 27, 2005

Swofford Reads From 'Jarhead' Nov. 10

You have probably seen the trailers for the new, gritty cinematic release "Jarhead," set during the first Gulf War.

Anthony Swofford, the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate who wrote the book on which the movie is based, will read from his acclaimed memoir of war at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

"Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles" was the first Gulf-War memoir by a frontline infantry Marine -- the Marines refer to themselves as "jarheads," in a reference to the standard military haircut.

Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times called the book "an irreverent but meditative voice that captures the juiced-up machismo of jarhead culture and the existential loneliness of combat . . . not only the most powerful memoir to emerge thus far from the last Gulf War, but also a searing contribution to the literature of combat, a book that combines the black humor of 'Catch-22' with the savagery of 'Full Metal Jacket' and the visceral detail of 'The Things They Carried'."

Esquire's literary editor Adrienne Miller stated, "Yes, there have been many, many books about combat in the Gulf War, but none as beautifully written or as ferocious as 'Jarhead,' Anthony Swofford's account of his life on the front lines is so honest and uncompromising as to be brutal."

After the war, Swofford was educated at American River College and the University of California, Davis, before he attended the UI Writers' Workshop. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the New York Times, Harper's, the Men's Journal, the Iowa Review and other publications.

The Writers' Workshop is an academic unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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