"Dust to Dust" is an extraordinary memoir about ordinary things: life and death, war and peace, the explorations of childhood and revelations of adulthood by Busch--a U.S. Marine who served two combat tours in Iraq, an actor on "The Wire," and son of celebrated novelist Frederick Busch.
In elemental-themed chapters—water, metal, bone, blood—Busch weaves together a vivid record of a pastoral childhood in rural New York; Marine training in North Carolina, Ukraine, and California; and deployment during the worst of the war in Iraq, as seen firsthand. But this is much more than a war memoir. Busch writes with great poignancy about the resonance of a boyhood spent exploring rivers and woods, building forts, and testing the limits of safety. Most of all, he brings enormous emotional power to his reflections on mortality: in a helicopter going down; wounded by shrapnel in Ramadi; dealing with the sudden death of friends in combat and of parents back home.
“This brave soldier with his singular sensibility . . . builds us a fort we’re loath to leave.”
-Mary Karr, author of The Liars' Club, Cherry, and Lit
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