Selected Shorts: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

Sep 30, 2012

Airs Sunday, September 30 at 8:00 p.m. Tim O’Brien’s stirring and poignant tale of foot soldiers in the Vietnam War shapes this entire program.  “The Things They Carried” is a powerful fictional depiction of the reality of America’s doomed enterprise in Vietnam. It is the title story of a book in which O’Brien follows one platoon of “grunts”, and its fantastic literary conceit is that their experience can best be conveyed by detailed listings of the actual things that the men carried in their backpacks and pockets, and on their shoulders and necks. When the cataloguing of these things makes the imaginative leap into a description of the less physical things they carried—to include such burdens as guilt, and fear, and memories—the piece earns its status as a great American short story. The performer is Dylan Baker with musical theme by Roger Kellaway.

This special re-broadcast of The Things They Carried is made possible by permission from Selected Shorts. This story as well as others are part of their CD titled "Selected Shorts: Wartime Lives" and is available for download or as a CD from the Selected Shorts Store

This Story is the focus of the "Big Read," presented by Shreve Memorial Library