You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon

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Synopsis

Through fiction of dazzling skill and astonishing emotional force, Siobhan Fallon welcomes readers into the American army base at Fort Hood, Texas, where U.S. soldiers prepare to fight, and where their families are left to cope after the men are gone. They'll meet a wife who discovers unsettling secrets when she hacks into her husband's email, and a teenager who disappears as her mother fights cancer. There is the foreign born wife who has tongues wagging over her late hours, and the military intelligence officer who plans a covert mission against his own home.

Powerful, singular, and unforgettable, these stories will resonate deeply with readers and mark the debut of a new talent of tremendous note.


 

About Siobhan Fallon

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SIOBHAN FALLON lived at Fort Hood while her husband, an Army major, was deployed to Iraq for two tours of duty. She earned her MFA at the New School in New York City. Fallon lives with her family near the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
 
Published January 20, 2011 by NAL. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, War. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for You Know When the Men Are Gone

Kirkus Reviews

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On his scheduled leave home from Iraq, he tells his wife he has to stay at the front, but then secretly returns to Fort Hood, breaks into the basement of his own house and hides there for a week, waiting for the truth with a knife in his hand.

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The New York Times

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Fallon writes stunningly, “and Nick waited to see where it would land.” Other stories in this brief, tight collection — and there’s not a loser in the bunch — include “The Last Stand,” in which Specialist Kit Murphy comes home to every soldier’s nightmare.

Jan 10 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

Publishers Weekly

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The crucial role of military wives becomes clear in Fallon's powerful, resonant debut collection, where the women are linked by absence and a pervading fear that they'll become war widows.

Oct 11 2010 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

New York Journal of Books

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While not all stories reach the same level of skill and impact—Fallon does, sadly, from time to time fall back into the MFA-ish formula for Modern Fiction, instead or relying upon her own gifts as a storyteller—cumulatively speaking, it is difficult to take issue with such an artful result.Take f...

Jan 20 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

Star Tribune

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These stirring, linked short stories about military wives waiting for their husbands to return from war are beautifully executed.

Feb 19 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

Book Reporter

From her setting of the Fort Hood Army Base outside Killeen, Texas, to her assembled cast of characters --- displaced young army wives, wounded vets, jealous husbands --- to the plaintive storylines, everything is refreshingly new as Fallon mines heretofore untouched territory.

Mar 28 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

Los Angeles Times

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Torres had been married at the time to a woman patiently waiting at home, when he returned from Kosovo, he brought with him an exotic new wife.

Feb 09 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

The Washington Post

Meg's fascination forms a powerful counterpoint to her own life, held in suspense by her husband's absence and her morbid thoughts, which crop up during seemingly innocuous activities such as grocery shopping: "She walked the meat aisle, passing her husband's favorites: baby back ribs, pork chops...

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

Dallas News

Though the stories are set at Fort Hood and in war-torn Iraq, the knowing portrait of life in the military, in which the wives mind one another’s business while their husbands are far away, could just as easily be set at any large military installation in any foreign conflict.

Feb 11 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

San Francisco Chronicle

FOR METRO - Mark Thompson, 3, holds an American flag as he watches the Veteran's Day Parade held Wednesday Nov. 11, 2009 in Killeen, Tx.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

Oregon Live

The story of that commander, nicknamed in the military as Moge but known at every other time in his life as David, hinges on, yes, that name, but we understand not through spectacular effort on the story's part but because we know that's what we're supposed to know.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

Denver Post

FICTION: STORIES You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobahn Fallon, $23.95

Jan 20 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

She wanted to give up her islands for him and his scars.” In this terse and bold book of eight interconnected stories featuring Fort Hood army wives, breakout author Siobhan Fallon invites readers to peek through the hazy base-house curtains into largely uncharted territory.

Jan 28 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

Bookmarks Magazine

Kristin Thiel Critical Summary Siobhan Fallon spent years at Fort Hood while her husband served in Iraq, and her stories feel deeply authentic--to the point where one reviewer was left near tears.

Jan 17 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

Fiction Writers Review

If you’ve ever been on the “left behind” end of a long-term separation, every word of Siobhan Fallon’s brave new story collection, You Know When the Men Are Gone (Amy Einhorn Books, Jan 2011) will resonate in a way that is simultaneously painful and validating.

May 19 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

Full Stop

But what he does know is this: in the uncertain world of modern warfare, it’s better to know a true thing absolutely than to know nothing at all.

Feb 23 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

The Pacific Northwest Inlander

He’s dreaming about toilet paper, the kids, fresh socks balled up in a drawer, food that hasn’t been sitting on a truck for the last six months.

Jan 26 2011 | Read Full Review of You Know When the Men Are Gone

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