A Hard and Heavy Thing (Paperback)

By Matthew J. Hefti

Gallery Books, 9781440591884, 365pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2016

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Description

Top 10 First Novels of 2016--Booklist

2016 Great Group Reads Selection

Contemplating suicide after nearly a decade at war, Levi sits down to write a note to his best friend Nick, explaining why things have to come to this inevitable end. Years earlier, Levi--a sergeant in the army--made a tragic choice that led his team into ambush, leaving three soldiers dead and two badly injured. During the attack, Levi risked death to save a badly burned and disfigured Nick. His actions won him the Silver Star for gallantry, but nothing could alleviate the guilt he carried after that fateful day. He may have saved Nick in Iraq, but when Levi returns home and spirals out of control, it is Nick's turn to play the savior, urging Levi to write. Levi begins to type as a way of bidding farewell, but what remains when he is finished is not a suicide note. It's a love song, a novel in which the beginning is the story's end, the story's end is the real beginning of Levi's life, and the future is as mutable as words on a page.


About the Author

In the past twelve years, Matthew J. Hefti has been deployed twice to the Sunni Triangle in Iraq and twice to the battlefields of Afghanistan. While there, he worked with Brian Castner, author of The Long Walk. In addition to defusing bombs during active duty, Hefti went to school part-time and earned a BA in English and an MFA in creative writing. He had a brief piece in MFA vs. NYC and has a story forthcoming in the second volume of Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War.
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