restricted access Beyond Recovery: Representing History and Memory in Iraq War Writing


Recent Iraq War literature has often been appropriated to serve the nationalist purpose of recovering from a conflict that lacks a stable place in history or memory. Focusing on Iraq War narratives that represent the recovery of bodies, living and dead, I explore the military failures, damaged archives, cultural silences, trauma, and human costs they uncover. I suggest here that much recent war writing by Kevin Powers, Brian Turner, Sinan Antoon, and the anonymous Iraqi blogger Riverbend speaks against postwar recovery—whether of bodies, archives, or nationalist and imperialist narratives—in striking ways.