An Iraq war veteran, upon returning to the states, Powers earned a graduate degree from UT’s Michener Center for Writers. A spare but poetic story, The Yellow Birds follows 21-year old Private Bartle as his vow to protect an even younger private amid fierce conditions in 2004 Iraq is tested. But the novel isn’t simply a war story; skipping forward and backward in time, Powers captures the confusion and pain of war on a more intimate, emotional level.
“I tried to focus on the emotional aspects of that experience, to show through the eyes of this one narrator his feeling, his interior, life, the sense of confusion and fear and anger, and the way that he has to deal with those things once he comes home,” Powers told KUT News in an in-studio interview. In that interview, Powers also read the opening pages of his novel, which hit bookstores this week.
Listen to our full interview with Powers below: