20th Anniversary of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

The Wall Street Journal reports that Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, published in the 1970s, is one of the most inspirational and enduring books from the Vietnam War literature category.  The book has become a classic, selling more than 2 million copies.

In honor of the 20th anniversary, a new hard cover edition will be released.  O’Brien has said that the book came together after he struggled with another novel, and he decided to simply combine aspects of memoir and fiction into The Things They Carried.

The Wall Street Journal says the book has been optioned for film several times, though it has never been made into a full length feature.  Read the rest of the story, if you want to see how the book influenced a recent Oscar Nominee for Original Screenplay.


Heather informed me that Tim O’Brien will be on tour for the 20th Anniversary edition of his book, The Things They Carried.

Here’s a short list of his appearances:

1.  New York City, Barnes and Noble, Union Square on March 22

2.  Philadelphia, Free Library of Philadelphia on March 23

3.  Washington, DC, Politics and Prose book store on March 24

4.  Kean University in New Jersey on April 14

5.  Cromaine (Michigan) Library, Big Read appearance, Hartland, Michigan on May 18

6.  Whittier College, Whittier, California (just outside LA), commencement speech and honorary doctorate on May 28

Also: According to Shelf Awareness on March 24 Tim O’Brien will be on NPR’s Talk of the Nation to discuss the 20th-anniversary editions of The Things They Carried.


  1. And it looks like the author is making several appearances to celebrate the book, including on in the DC area …

  2. Thanks for the information Heather. I recommend that if anyone can see him, they should. He’s very engaging and friendly.

  3. Even though I’ve heard it’s a hard book to read, I’m looking forward to it.


  4. I’m so glad I selected this book as one of the books to read for this challenge. I’m off to check and see if he will be showing up in STL.

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