Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What is Helen Benedict reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Helen Benedict, author of Sand Queen.

Her entry begins:
I am currently reading The Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett. For years now, I’ve read nothing but war books as I worked on my Iraq War novel, Sand Queen, and my recent nonfiction about soldiers, The Lonely Soldier. I needed to get away from war, so I picked up Barrett’s novel. I’ve long been a fan of the scientific and historical detail knowledge she manages to weave into fiction, and this book does not disappoint. It is long and satisfying, the way Dickens can be, and also revealing of...[read on]
Among the early praise for Sand Queen:
"This is 'The Things They Carried’ for women in Iraq."
--The Boston Globe

"Two women, an Iraqi refugee whose father and young brother were detained by American soldiers, and a 19-year-old American Army Specialist, wrestle with the complexities of war in Benedict's thrilling and thoughtful new novel."
--Publishers Weekly

". . . [I]t is clearly Ms. Benedict’s intention to turn stereotypes upside down, make readers squirm, and yet still keep them reading. Ms. Benedict pulls off this audacious gambit because she is an exceptional writer and storyteller. Her gritty depiction of a soldier’s life in the Iraq desert is particularly well done. Sand Queen is so powerful precisely because Helen Benedict is so pissed off.”
--New York Journal of Books

"This is an eyeopening novel that allows readers to step into the combat boots of a young, inexperienced female soldier living and working in a place where the line between friend and foe is nearly impossible to distinguish. Funny, shocking, painful, and, at times, deeply disturbing, Sand Queen takes readers beyond the news and onto the battlefield."
Learn more about Helen Benedict and her work at her official website.

Writers Read: Helen Benedict (July 2009).

My Book, The Movie: Sand Queen.

Writers Read: Helen Benedict.

--Marshal Zeringue