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U.S. Veteran Discusses Acclaimed Short Story Collection at Ramapo College

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)February 5, 2015

Redeployment inspired by real-life experiences in Iraq War

MAHWAH, N.J. — Phil Klay, author of the critically acclaimed short story collection, Redeployment, spoke at Ramapo College on Thursday, January 29. Redeployment, which won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2014, was inspired by Klay’s real-life experiences while serving in the military during the Iraq War.

A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Klay served in Iraq’s Anbar Province from January 2007 to February 2008 as a public affairs officer. The book chronicles fictional accounts by 12 different narrators, each of whom has a unique perspective on the conflict in Iraq and the return home.

“My goal in writing the book was to present the reader with a series of moral choices,” said Klay, adding that no one character in Redeployment is totally fictional. “I drew things from my real-life experiences and used them in crafting the stories.”

Klay was named a National Book Foundation ’5 Under 35′ honoree in 2014. Redeployment was also short-listed for the Frank O’Connor Prize. The New York Times described it as “the best thing written so far on what the war did to people’s souls.” The New Yorker called it “the best literary work thus far written by a veteran of America’s recent wars…a masterly collection of short stories about war and its psychological consequences.”

Klay’s visit was sponsored by the Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies at Ramapo College.

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About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Niche.com.

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com. Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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