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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 26, 2008

UI Press to release 'Writing Vietnam, Writing Life' March 15

Tobey Herzog's "Writing Vietnam, Writing Life," a book of extended conversations with Philip Caputo, Larry Heinemann, Tim O'Brien and Robert Olen Butler, will become available from the University of Iowa Press on March 15.

These four Midwestern Americans came of age during the 1960s and faced a difficult personal decision: whether or not to fight in Vietnam. Each chose to participate. After coming home, these four veterans became prizewinning authors telling the war stories and life stories of soldiers and civilians.

The four extended conversations include revealing personal stories alongside candid assessments of each author's distinct roles as son, soldier, writer and teacher of creative writing.

As Herzog's interviews reveal, these soldier-authors have diverse upbringings, values, interests, writing careers, life experiences and literary voices. They hold wide-ranging views on, among other things, fatherhood, war, the military, religion, the creative process, the current state of the world, and the nature of both physical and moral courage.

For each author, the conversation and an annotated chronology provide an overview of the writer's life, the intersection of memory and imagination in his writing, and the path of his literary career. Together, these four life stories also offer mini-tableaux of the fascinating and troubling time of 1960s and 1970s America. Above all, the conversations reveal that each author is linked forever to the Vietnam War, the country of Vietnam and its people.

Herzog, also a Vietnam veteran, is a professor of English at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. He is the author of  "Vietnam War Stories: Innocence Lost" and "Tim O'Brien," a volume of literary criticism for the "Twayne's Authors Series."

"Writing Vietnam, Writing Life" is available for sale at bookstores or directly from the UI Press by phone at 800-621-2736 or online at Customers in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, or Africa may order from the Eurospan Group online at

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Allison Thomas, UI Press,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073,