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A young man leaves South Boston for the first Gulf War, in a novel that is “a very great achievement” (The Boston Globe).
Growing up in Southie, Jimmy Murphy boxes after school, developing his toughness as he looks forward to enlisting in the army like his father. He navigates the racial politics of the streets, while feeling an intense pull toward a pretty African American classmate.
When Murphy starts basic training at Fort Knox, he begins writing to his old English teacher, Herman Roth. Eventually, the letters come from Germany—and finally, from the front lines in the Middle East.
As he struggles with rage, prejudice, and unfulfilled desire—fighting to become the top gunner of the elite 2nd Cavalry Tank Division—Murphy continues to write, getting his thoughts down on paper. Even as the situation in Iraq and Kuwait turns chaotic, his mission as a soldier gives him a sense of purpose and order. But his real battle begins when the war ends, and it’s time to go home.
In this novel by the author of The Car Thief, “Weesner displays his genius for giving voice to the forgotten and inarticulate. . . . Carrying is a prickly and provocative meditation on racism and the limits of American innocence. . . . Our naive narrator’s anticipation of the war . . . harkens back to Henry Fleming’s in The Red Badge of Courage, while his struggle with race recalls Robert O’Connor’s Buffalo Soldiers” (Stewart O’Nan).
Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions