Roxana Robinson's Novel Sparta

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Roxana Robinson talks about her new novel, Sparta, about a Marine who returns home to Katonah, New York, after serving four years in Iraq. As he attempts to reconnect with his family and his girlfriend and to find his footing in the civilian world, he learns how hard it is to return to the people and places he used to love.


Roxana Robinson

Comments [3]

Peter Macdonald from Ridgewood, NJ

Complementary to "Sparta" take a look at:
"What It Is Like To Go To War" by Karl Marlantes (2011).

"..if the ideas discussed here help citizens and policy makers attain a clearer understanding of what they are asking of their warriors and of their own role in sending them into the moral quagmire and sacrificial fire called war, the book will have succeeded, if not beyond my hopes, perhaps beyond my expectations"

Jun. 04 2013 03:10 PM
Jackie from Brooklyn

Roxana describes meeting a veteran in a small café, his attention acutely attuned to the people in the room and what they were doing. She notes that this hyper-vigilance is symptomatic of PTSD. So I was surprised to hear Leonard ask, jokingly, if the veteran had also noticed whether the two absent employees he remarked on had been carrying grenades. I was even more surprised to hear Roxana laugh.
PTSD is no joke. But veterans are also acutely aware that civilians may indeed find a veteran's behavior funny. It is one of the reasons that many veterans avoid social situations.
Leonard, I hope that you, and the rest of us civilians, become better educated about what it can feel like to be on constant alert for danger and have little control over that kind of reaction. The brain is changed by chronic, acute stress. The effects can be mitigated, but at this point, how to do that effectively appears to be a guessing game to some degree.

Jun. 04 2013 01:33 PM

Has your guest touched upon the trauma of "moral injury" (in the cotext of something like torture?

Jun. 04 2013 01:23 PM

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