Anthony Swofford: Hachette Speakers Bureau

Anthony Swofford

Acclaimed International Bestselling Author

Anthony Swofford is the author of the novel Exit A, and two memoirs: the international bestseller Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles, and the forthcoming Hotels, Hospitals And Jails. Following the success of Jarhead, he assumed he had exorcised his military demons -- but as every veteran knows, that isn’t exactly how it works. In these searing, courageous pages, he struggles to make sense of what his military service meant, and to decide -- after nearly ending it -- what his life can and should become.

Consumed by drugs, booze, fast cars and the wrong women, Swofford almost lost everything and everyone that mattered to him. Embarking on a series of RV trips with his dying father, a Vietnam vet, in an attempt to heal their difficult relationship, and meeting a like-minded woman (who will become his wife) in a chance encounter, Swofford begins to grapple with his volatile past and forge a path toward redemption. Hotels, Hospitals, And Jails raises essential questions about masculinity, about fathers and sons, and about love.

Jarhead reveals Swofford as an eloquent and brazenly honest spokesman for the “grunt” who is as aware of the political realities of the war as he is of warfare’s seduction over him. Jarhead spent several months on the Bestseller List, and the film adaptation of Jarhead, directed by Sam Mendes, was released in the fall of 2005.

For the 17-year-old Swofford, enlisting in the Marines was a frightening but sanctified passage to manhood, offering the promise of high-tech sharpshooting and the ability to continue his family’s military legacy for a third generation. Yet from the moment he was recruited to long after his four years of service ended, the trajectory of Swofford’s life has been jarred and obscured, threatened with meaninglessness by a slew of atrocities, ironies, and existential hauntings.

Swofford captures the complex, contradictory, and tragic modern soldier with precise prose that is simultaneously moving and unsentimental. His experience as a Marine, writer, and teacher affords him the ability to speak compellingly on many subjects—the writing life, contemporary military experience and policy, memoirs, and the American male psyche. He regularly speaks to veteran and civic groups about the reintegration process for men and women after military service. He’s an advocate of education as a bridge from military life to the civilian world and as a healing property in the veteran’s reintegration toolkit.

After serving in the Marine Corps from 1988-1992, Swofford attended the University of California at Davis, where he received his BA in 1999. He went on to get an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he also served as Assistant Editor in fiction at The Iowa Review. A 2002 Michener-Copernicus Society of America Fiction Fellowship recipient, he has taught at the University of Iowa, Lewis & Clark College, and St. Mary’s College. For Jarheadhe received the PEN/Martha Albrand Art of the Memoir Award. Swofford’s writings have appeared in a variety of publications including The New York Times, Harper’s, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Tin House, and Details magazine, among others.

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  • The Bridge From War To Home
  • The Veteran In The Classroom
  • Writing As A Healing Art
  • From Life To Screen: Turning Biography Into Film And Television.


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