Tim O'Brien (b. 1946)

A selective list of online literary criticism for the American novelist and short story writer of the Vietnam War, Tim O'Brien, favoring signed articles and articles published in peer-reviewed sources.

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"Tim O'Brien: The Things They Carried." Audio lecture with slides, plus discussion questions and suggestions for writing, from the academic publisher A.B. Longmans [scroll down to "O'Brien"].

"The Big Read: The Things They Carried." The reader's guide includes an introduction, historical context, biography, discussion questions, and more. Also available, a teacher's guide and an audio guide. National Endowment for the Arts.

"War Films Should Make Us Duck Real Bullets." Video file, interview with Tim O'Brien, who talks about war and the expression of war in books and films. The Big Think 21 April 2010.

"Author Tim O'Brien Recalls Vietnam War Experiences." Video file, interview with Tim O'Brien on the PBS Newshour, 29 April 2010, on the twentieth anniversary of the publication of The Things They Carried.

"Tim O'Brien: An introduction to his writing." A summary of Tim O'Brien's books and publishing history, by rare book dealer Ken Lopez.

Franklin, H. Bruce. "Plausibility of Denial: Tim O'Brien, My Lai, and America." The Progressive December 1994 [re-published by the author].

Herzog, Tobey C. "Tim O'Brien." Literary Encyclopedia. 12 Nov. 2004. Eds. Robert Clark, Emory Elliott, Janet Todd. An introduction to Tim O'Brien, from a database that provides signed literary criticism by experts in their field, and is available to individuals for a reasonably-priced subscription [subscription service].

literary criticism

Bates, Milton J. "Tim O'Brien's Myth of Courage." MFS Modern Fiction Studies 33, 2 (Summer 1987) pp 129-55 [muse, substantial preview].

Bonn, Maria S. "Can Stories Save Us? Tim O'Brien and the Efficacy of the Text." Critique 36, 1 (1995) [enotes subscription service, add'l articles available].

Carpenter, Lucas. "'IT DON'T MEAN NOTHIN': Vietnam War Fiction and Postmodernism." College Literature 30, 2 (Spring 2003) pp 30-50 [jstor preview or purchase].

Dunnaway, Jen. "'One More Redskin Bites the Dirt': Racial Melancholy in Vietnam War Representation." Arizona Quarterly 64, 1 (Spring 2008) pp 109-29 [muse, substantial preview].

Jarraway, David R. "'Excremental Assault' in Tim O'Brien: Trauma and Recovery in Vietnam War Literature." MFS Modern Fiction Studies 44, 3 (Fall 1998) pp 695-711 [muse, substantial preview].

Kinney, Katherine. "American Exceptionalism and Empire in Tim O'Brien's Going after Cacciato." American Literary History 7, 4 (Winter 1995) pp 633-53 [jstor preview or purchase].

Poppleton-Pritchard, Rosalind. "World beyond measure: An ecological critique of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried and In The Lake of the Woods." In Critical Survey 9, 2 (1997) pp 80-93 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Silbergleid, Robin. "Making Things Present: Tim O'Brien's Autobiographical Metafiction." Contemporary Literature 50, 1 (Spring 2009) pp 129-55 [muse, substantial preview].

Smiley, Pamela. "The Role of the Ideal (Female) Reader in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried: Why Should Real Women Play?" The Massachusetts Review 43, 4 (Winter 2002/2003) pp 602-13 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Timmerman, John H. "Tim O'Brien and the Art of the True War Story: 'Night March' and 'Speaking of Courage.'" Twentieth Century Literature 46, 1 (Spring 2000) pp 100-14 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].

Vernon, Alex. "Salvation, Storytelling, and Pilgrimage in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried." Mosaic 36 (2003) [questia sub ser, substantial preview].

Wesley, Marilyn. "Truth and Fiction in Tim O'Brien's If I Die in a Combat Zone and The Things They Carried." College Literature 29, 2 (Spring 2002) pp 1-18 [jstor preview or purchase].

scholarly journal

War, Literature, and the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities. Ed. Donald Anderson. Excellent, peer-reviewed journal contains scholarly essays, including some on Tim O'Brien's writing, reviews of scholarly books, personal essays, original fiction, and poetry on the subject of war. See their "Archives," which must be browsed (no master index or search function is available).

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