Abstract

Abstract:

This essay argues that through the formal strategy of multiple first-person narrators, several novels about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan decenter American experiences, link soldiers' voices to those of "others," and open up the question of "who counts" in war to include civilians, refugees, and other noncombatants. Helen Benedict, Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, and Michael Pitre shift the imaginative frame of war to include both the canonical trauma hero and the displaced and disempowered. This formal strategy requires readers to consider the consequences of US military policy and to reassess whose lives matter.

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