Sunday would be Ernest Hemingway’s 114th birthday. More than anyone, he cleaned out the stuffy British conventions that clogged American writing in the 1920s and allowed the next generation to find their own voices.
I know many Americans do not read any books once they’re out of school or college. But some do, and what they read has been shaped not only by changing tastes but by availability. The availability consideration is being revolutionized.
Jess Goodell volunteered when she was a Marine to work in the corps’ mortuary affairs unit in Iraq. Her job was to collect the bodies and body parts of fallen fellow Marines. She wrote a book about the experience called “Shade It Black: Death and After in Iraq.” Here are excerpts from Goodell’s book and Chris Hedges’ interview with the author, read by classically trained actor and Truthdig contributor Eunice Wong.