“At the bottom, all wars are the same because they involve death, and maiming and wounding, and grieving mothers, fathers, sons and daughters.” --Tim O'Brien on wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and the College of Languages and Communications are offering UAFS students and the community an opportunity to see Tim O’Brien speak. On March 12 at 5:30 p.m. O’Brien will give a lecture followed by a book signing at the Stubblefield Center. Tickets are free for everyone and can be picked up at the UAFS box office located on the first floor of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. Each person may take with them a maximum of five tickets.
Tim O'Brien is, among other things, an American author best known for his war stories and memoirs. O’Brien writes from experience. In 1968 he was drafted into the United States Army and sent to Vietnam where he served in the 23 Infantry Division until 1970. His tour of duty coupled with his Minnesota upbringing set the scene for his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Things They Carried.
UAFS recently held a daylong reading of The Things They Carried at the Campus Center fire place as part of the ReadThis! program. The event was held to support public literacy in a way that allows the community to read and discuss works aloud, but also to give people another reason to seize the opportunity to see such an artist like Tim O’Brien in person. He is sought after by campuses across the country for his powerful storytelling, which translates seamlessly into his public lectures. This could very well be a once in a lifetime chance to see the author and veteran speak about his experiences.
O’Brien’s works have sold over 3 million copies and have been translated into more than 20 different languages. He has published in well-recognized journals like The New Yorker and Esquire. In 2010 he was awarded the Katherine Anne Porter Award for a distinguished body of work. Just last year he was given a lifetime achievement award by the Pritzker Military Library. And the list goes on. But, most importantly, Tim O’Brien brings us a glimpse into his memory and the painful truths about war.