Formation (Hardcover)

A Woman's Memoir of Stepping Out of Line

By Ryan Leigh Dostie

Grand Central Publishing, 9781538731536, 368pp.

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Cheryl Strayed's Wild meets Anthony Swofford's Jarhead in this powerful literary memoir of a young Army recruit driven to prove herself in a man's world.

Raised by powerful women in a restrictive, sheltered Christian community in New England, Ryan Dostie never imagined herself on the front lines of a war halfway around the world. But then a conversation with an Army recruiter in her high-school cafeteria changes the course of her life. Hired as a linguist, she quickly has to find a space for herself in the testosterone-filled world of the Army barracks, and has been holding her own until the unthinkable happens: she is raped by a fellow soldier.

Struggling with PTSD and commanders who don't trust her story, Dostie finds herself fighting through the isolation of trauma amid the challenges of an unexpected war. What follows is a riveting story of one woman's extraordinary journey to prove her worth, physically and mentally, in a world where the odds are stacked against her.

About the Author

Ryan Leigh Dostie is a novelist turned soldier turned novelist. As an Army Persian-Farsi/Dari Linguist in Military Intelligence, she was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II (2003-2004). She holds an MFA in fiction writing and a bachelor's degree in History from Southern Connecticut State University. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband, her wondrously wild daughter, and one very large Alaskan Malamute. FORMATION is her first book.

Praise For Formation: A Woman's Memoir of Stepping Out of Line

"Vital, brutal and absolutely compelling...A significant standout."—Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness

"This is a fierce memoir of survival-a visceral and vital portrait of what it takes to thrive as a woman in a man's world. Time is long overdue for the world to hear Ryan Leigh Dostie's remarkable story of resilience in the face of the unspeakable."—Susannah Cahalan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of BRAIN ON FIRE