Tim O'Brien Biography | Author of The Things They Carried

Tim O'Brien
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O'Brien's life resembles many of his protagonists. Born October 2, 1946, and raised in the small town of Wortington, Minnesota, by his insurance salesman father and elementary school teacher mother, O'Brien's childhood and adolescence was marked by loneliness and isolation. When he was a student at Macalester College in St. Paul, however, he found a place in the antiwar movement and attended war protests and peace vigils. After graduating with a degree in political science and plans to reform government from the inside, O'Brien was drafted instead. Resisting the impulse to defect to Canada, the twenty-two-year-old O'Brien found himself in the infantry. Despite being awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he received, O'Brien loathed the war and everything about it, but it would become the catalyst and continuing inspiration for his literary career.

O'Brien wrote his first book, the autobiographical series of vignettes If I Die in a Combat Zone...

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This section contains 234 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Things They Carried Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Things They Carried from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.