The Blog

Interview with Anthony Swofford

Anthony SwoffordAnthony Swofford is the author of the memoirs Jarhead and Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails and the novel Exit A. In 2014 he served as the judge of TIR’s Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans, naming Katherine Schifani the first-place winner and awarding second place to Brian Van Reet. In April 2015 he visited Iowa City for a screening of the film made from Jarhead and a reading alongside Schifani and Van Reet. TIR managing editor Lynne Nugent caught up with him between events.

Did That Really Happen? An Interview with Veteran Writers

Jesse Goolsby

I was at a literature conference a few years ago when someone asked a well-respected panelist what, in his opinion, made Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried so powerful.

“He was there,” the scholar said. “That pain and honesty, the way it’s translated from memory to page, you can’t fake that. Only a soldier who was present could have written it.”

Even then, sitting in that conference room, I thought the answer was the biggest load of shit I’d ever heard. Of course you can fake that—isn’t brilliant appropriation one of the goals of fiction?

Jonathan Safran Foer's HERE I AM

Eric Farwell

With Jonathan Safran Foer’s gritty new novel, Here I Am, it’s hard not to read it in the context of his recent public divorce. The 571-page work deals with a nearly middle-aged Jewish couple who are drifting apart and going through the motions of separation. The book does its best to account for small moments that keep a marriage together or destroy it, articulating both how invisible they are and how short the distance is between one extreme and the other. Foer should be applauded for his diligent scrutiny of love and modern Jewish masculinity, which moves beyond the bloated narratives that make up much literary fiction to become a soulful meditation on identity and obsession.


TIR Staff

We're thrilled to announce that three Iowa Review works—two short stories and an essay—have been placed in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016. This year's editor was Rachel Kushner.


Anna Kovatcheva's "Sudba 1," Volume 45, Issue 2

Yuko Sakata's "On This Side," Volume 45, Issue 1


Inara Verzemnieks' "Homer Dill's Undead," Volume 45, Issue 2


Devon Walker-Figueroa

Max and I were first introduced to each other in 2015 and immediately bonded through a series of ensuing e-mail and text correspondences—usually about poetry, but also about painting, glass blowing, and balloon races, among other things. In addition to this more casual exchange, I read and gave Max editorial feedback on early versions of Four Reincarnations. Indeed, I loved the poems I found within its pages so much that I ended up publishing several of them in The Iowa Review, where I serve as the poetry editor, and in Horsethief Magazine, a publication I co-founded with Justin Boening.


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