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Triage
SCOTT ANDERSON

Triage by Scott Anderson
15 reviews (1998) (240p)
ALA Notable Books - Fiction Finalist

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Book Description

In this critically acclaimed debut novel, the aftermath of war in all its power is revealed in the lives of survivors and their loved ones. Mark, a young war photographer, returns to New York after being injured in a brush fire. Shell-shocked, torn apart by grief and guilt, he finds that his experiences have created a gulf between himself and his loved ones. The first to notice is his girlfriend, Elena, who grows increasingly alarmed as his condition continues to deteriorate. She is the most surprised when her grandfather, Joaquin, the last person from whom Elena wants to accept help, turns out to be the one to understand Mark's trauma. The two men -- bearers of grievously deep secrets -- forge an extraordinary relationship that will ultimately lead to life-altering revelations.

This stunning novel is informed by Scott Anderson's experiences reporting on combat around the globe. Triage introduces a major new voice in American fiction.


Amazon.com Review
There's a whole lot of triage going on in Scott Anderson's debut novel. First, there is the triage at the small Kurdish hospital where Mark Walsh, a wounded American war photographer, has been brought, in the wake of a battle between Kurdish separatists and Iraqi troops: those men deemed unlikely to survive by the woefully overworked and underequipped doctor in charge are summarily shot. Then there is the triage Mark himself performs after returning to the States as he goes through his various shots, sorting out which images will make the cut. Finally, there is the central mystery of what Mark saw and did during his time in Kurdistan--events so traumatic they continue to haunt him even after his physical wounds have healed. Though there appears to be no medical reason for it, Mark can't walk, and his Spanish girlfriend, Elena, is eventually forced to accept help from her estranged grandfather, Joachim--a psychiatrist who helped "purify" the consciences of Franco's fascist officers following the Spanish civil war.

Eventually the three travel together to Spain, where Mark, with Joachim's help, must face the secret he cannot bear to remember. As Joachim and Mark slowly forge a relationship with each other, they also strengthen their separate bonds to Elena. But as each man reveals his experience of war to the other, it becomes clear that when well-intentioned men commit evil acts--even for the best of reasons--there will always be a high price to pay.


Scott Anderson Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 1  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 1  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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