In Double Knot, Mac Caltrider takes us to the front lines of Afghanistan during the most violent period of America’s longest war. But this powerful work is a refreshing break from the blood-soaked memoirs that typically emerge from the battlefield. With clear inspiration from the likes of Joan Didion, Bill Buford, and John Jeremiah Sullivan, Caltrider combines humor, wit, and insight to reveal complex truths about combat and life after service.
In his debut book, Caltrider takes us on a tour of Afghanistan’s IED-filled Helmand province, where every footstep is an act of bravery. Without a chance to exhale, he moves on to explore the messy world of policing in the wake of George Floyd and the outbreak of COVID-19. Caltrider then takes us up the snow-swept slopes of Mount Rainier and on a whirlwind tour of the United States, alongside Miss America, some of the Pentagon’s top brass, and a gaggle of B-list celebrities that more closely resemble a circus than a morale boost. As the stories progress, a narrative through-line emerges, revealing the complicated ways in which war remains with those who wage it.
173 pages | 7 Essays
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