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David Finkel, photo by Lucian Perkins
David Finkel


NYS Writers Institute, October 9, 2014
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Uptown Campus


David Finkel, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author of the 2009 bestseller, The Good Soldiers, about his experiences as an embedded reporter in the Iraq War, presents his sequel to that book, Thank You For Your Service (2013), about veterans coping with life after the war, on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will offer an informal seminar in the Standish Room of the Science Library. Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, and the UAlbany Journalism Program.

National Enterprise Editor and staff writer for the Washington Post, David Finkel received a 2012 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for his contributions to the vanishing art of  “long-form” journalism, and a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for his series of articles on failed U.S. efforts to bring democracy to Yemen.

His bestselling 2009 book, The Good Soldiers, recounts the seven months he spent as an embedded reporter with U.S. troops— the “2-16 Rangers”— in Iraq. In advance praise, Pulitzer-winning novelist Geraldine Brooks said, “This may be the best book on war since the Iliad.”  Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times called it, “heart-stopping,” and said that it “captures the surreal horror of war.” Writing in Fortune, Daniel Okrent said, “The Good Soldiers… is the most honest, most painful, and most brilliantly rendered account of modern war I’ve ever read.”

Thank you for your ServiceThe sequel to that book, Thank You For Your Service (2013), follows the members of the “2-16 Rangers” as they attempt to adapt to life after the war. The book presents intimate portraits not only of individual soldiers, but also their wives, widows, children, friends, medical professionals, psychologists, and social workers as they cope (or fail to cope) with the aftermath of combat experience, long deployments, injuries, and PTSD.

A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Thank You For Your Service was named one of the best books of 2013 by NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. It was also named Amazon’s 2013 “Best Nonfiction Book of the Year.”

Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Elizabeth Samet said, “This is not— nor should it be— an easy book. But it is an essential one.” Also in the Times, columnist Frank Bruni said, “Together with its masterful prequel The Good Soldiers, it measures the wages of the war in Iraq— the wages of war, period— as well as anything I’ve read…. [Finkel] atones for our scant attention by paying meticulous heed.” National Book Award winner Katherine Boo said, “I’m urging everyone I know to give Thank You for Your Service just a few pages, a few minutes out of their busy lives. The families honored in this urgent, important book will take it from there.”

Finkel’s awards include the Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism and the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for The Good Soldiers; the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Award for “Invisible Journeys,” a series of articles in the Washington Post on illegal immigration; and the 1999 Sigma Delta Chi Award of the Society of Professional Journalists for his portraits of ordinary people in wartime Kosovo. He is also a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist for Explanatory Reporting and Feature Writing.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.