I wanted to get at a range of veteran experiences,” Phil Klay says of his short story collection, Redeployment, which will be published in March by Penguin Press. “I didn’t want to write a ‘this is how it is’ Iraq book, because the Iraq War is an intensely complicated variety of things.”
Redeployment took Klay—a Dartmouth graduate and U.S. Marine Corps veteran with an M.F.A. from Hunter College—four years to write. The 12 stories explore the Iraq War from a multitude of angles. The title story, which was published in Granta and helped Klay net agent Eric Simonoff at William Morris Endeavor, follows veterans who return home and attempt to resume normal life. It’s a story the author knows well: “I came back from Iraq with a lot of questions,” he says.
Klay’s honesty impressed Andrea Walker at Penguin Press, who found the story in Granta, and, after asking to see more of his work, took on the collection. Despite the similarities between Klay’s personal history and his stories, Walker is quick to point out that Redeployment is not a thinly veiled memoir. “The book is told from the perspective of a range of distinctive and persuasive characters. There’s a dazzling array of storytelling gambits on display—Phil is a seriously committed writer of fiction, and I’m very excited about his future work.”