Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point
Author: Elizabeth D. Samet
Includes a New Afterword by the Author
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
A USA Today Best Book of 2007
A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of 2007
What does it mean to teach literature to a soldier? How does it prepare a young man or woman for combat? At West Point, Elizabeth Samet reads classic and modern works of literature with America's future military elite, and in this stirring memoir she chronicles the ways in which war has transformed her relationship to the books she and her students read together. While fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Samet's former students share their thoughts on the poetry of Wallace Stevens, the fiction of Virginia Woolf and J. M. Coetzee, the epics of Homer, and the films of Bogart and Cagney. And their letters in turn prompt Samet to wonder exactly what she owes to cadets in the classroom. Soldier's Heart is an honest and original reflection on the relationship between art and life.