Generation Kill Author Speaks at APU

by Karla Shirvanian '10


On Thursday, December 3, Azusa Pacific University's communication studies department and the fall 2009 International Journalism class hosted author and journalist Evan Wright to discuss his book, Generation Kill. Wright, a writer for Rolling Stone magazine, who wrote a series from the field of the Iraq invasion, spoke about his experience as an embedded journalist in Iraq.

Wright began by reading excepts from his book, Generation Kill, a book that chronicles what he saw and the people he was with for two months in Iraq. The book offers a raw, honest, and real look at Iraq that is not portrayed in mainstream media. Generation Kill also sought to humanize the troops to a place where the reader can relate to them on a personal level, getting to know their characteristics and background.

Wright also played raw tape from when he was Iraq. The recording was taken during an exchange between a small tom in Iraq and the troops. In the recording, the bullet exchange can be heard clearly with the reactions from the troops and Wright.

Following his discussion of the book, Wright talked to the audience about writing in general. He spoke about how he became a writer because he quit everything else, but moreover he spoke about he became a writer because "he could not stop writing." He spoke about the hard work it takes to be a writer, but also the passion and drive it requires. He said that he learned that it is vital to write in the first person, it is the writing style that every journalist has to learn and master.

Wright spoke from a perspective that combined his personal story with events that affected the world. Yet, he writes it in a new way that shows people a new perspective of the war with people's stories, humanizing the war and allowing people to become invested in the stories of those fighting in Iraq. Generation Kill is about more than a war, it is about the people who are fighting on the front lines, which are often ignored in mainstream media.