Karl Marlantes served as a Marine Corps Lieutenant in Vietnam, and will talk about his memoir What It Is Like To Go To War. Written nearly 40 years after his own tour of duty in Vietnam, Karl Marlantes' book recounts his experience of going to war and coming home through the lens of time and memory, illuminated by insights drawn from his study of history, literature, psychology, and philosophy.
Mr. Marlantes grew up in a small logging town on the Oregon coast, attended Yale University on a National Merit Scholarship, and went on to study at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He served as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals. He is the author of the New York Times best seller What It Is Like to Go to War and the novel Matterhorn, which won numerous prizes, including the William E. Colby Award given by the Pritzker Military Library, the Center For Fiction's Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the 2011 Indies' Choice Award for Adult Debut Book of the Year, the American Historians James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical American Fiction, and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation's James Webb Award for Distinguished Fiction, The American Library Association W. Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award for 2011, and The Vietnam Veterans of America Excellence in the Arts Award for 2012.
This statewide speaking tour by Mr. Marlantes is part of the War Comes Home/California Reads initiative, a public dialog about returning veterans. This project seeks to engage Californians in the tough questions about what it means to return from war, and to rejoin one's community. What are the responsibilities toward those who have been sent to war, and how can we bridge the gap of experience between those who served and those who have not?
Cal Humanities has chosen Karl Marlantes' memoir, What it is Like to Go to War, as the California Reads book of 2014. Readers across the state are encouraged to read the book, and join the discussion. 43 public libraries (including over 240 branch libraries) will present programs in communities across the state. Hundreds of activities, including book discussions, speakers, film screenings, writing workshops, poetry readings, oral history projects, service projects, and information fairs are planned with support provided by grants and programming resources from Cal Humanities. More information about Mr. Marlantes' statewide tour can be found at www.calhum.org.
California Reads is a program of Cal Humanities in partnership with the California Center for the Book. It is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.