Prisoners of War
By Steve Yarbrough
(Vintage, Paperback, 9781400030620, 304pp.)
Publication Date: March 8, 2005
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It is 1943, and the war has come home to Loring, Mississippi. As German POWs labor in the cotton fields, the local draft board sends boys into uniform, and families receive flags and condolences. But for Dan Timms, just shy of 18, the war is his ticket out of town and away from the ghosts that haunt him. As he peddles goods from a rolling store for his profiteer uncle, Dan tries to understand his friend L.C., a young man who, on account of his skin, feels like a prisoner himself. But one day, Dan spots Marty Stark who has just returned from Italy, mysteriously reassigned to guard the POWs he was once trained to kill. As Dan soon learns, Marty’s war is far from over and threatens to erupt again.
Steve Yarbrough’s honors include the Mississippi Authors Award, the California Book Award, and a third from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. The author of two previous novels and three collections of stories, he is a native of the Delta town of Indianola and now lives in Fresno, California.
"The highest kind of art, full of subtlety and sensitivity.” –Dallas Morning News
"Yarbrough writes with quiet compassion . . . [about] what it means to be American, and all the unexpected–and often unwarranted–sacrifices that identity might comprise." –The New York Times Book Review
“In this powerful, understated novel, [Yarbrough] finds a way to describe how fleeting moments between people slowly accrue and gather the heaviness of fate.” –The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Vivid and dramatic. . . . Prisoners of War is smart and entertaining.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Yarbrough has created a timely war novel that is refreshingly unpredictable yet as comfortable as an old boot.” –The Oregonian