Book pairings like wine and cheese pairings have something unique to offer.
Kim Baker went to Afghanistan in 2002 and her book,Whisky Tango Foxtrot, is based on years of reportage while living there. She combines an outsiders view of how American policy looked to Afghanistan as well as an outsiders view of how Afghan politics themselves worked. Her stereoscopic perspective is fascinating.
The Drifter grabbed my attention with it’s arresting yellow and blue cover. Peter Ash returned from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with “white static” and an inability to be inside walls for very long. He finds relief under the stars far from city lights but the suicide of a military friend calls him back to civilization to help his widow. What he discovers while fixing her porch keeps him city-bound. How he copes with his “white static” while investigating is the best part.
While Whisky Tango Foxtrot investigates the non-fiction side of the Afghan war, The Drifter shows the interior life of a returning vet of that same war. The net result is greater empathy for those who served. Welcome home.