Roxana Robinson's latest novel is Sparta.
From her Q & A at 2paragraphs:
Q: Your novel Sparta won the James Webb Award for Distinguished Fiction given by the Marine Corp Heritage Foundation. The question is often asked the writer: who do you write for? In the special case of Sparta–which considers a soldier’s return from Iraq–is there particular satisfaction in the work being recognized by this audience of veterans? Did you have them in mind as you wrote?Learn more about the book and author at Roxana Robinson’s website.
A: When I decided to write a book about a Marine (or rather, when that idea took me over), I began to do research about a culture that is famously insular. I learned very quickly how guarded and protective this culture is – how “tribal,” as one Marine called it–and how deliberately and absolutely they exclude outsiders. At a professional level I was rebuffed, over and over. I realized that it would only be on a personal level, through direct encounters, and through word of mouth, that I would be able to talk to the people who so interested me. They did interest me. I was not just interested but fascinated by every part of the experience of being a soldier. I was deeply sympathetic, but that wasn’t a reason for them to talk to me. I might get it very wrong, regardless of sympathy. No one knows what a novelist is up to, and I couldn’t explain it exactly myself. There was no reason for people to trust me.
Which is why I was humbled by...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: Sparta.
Writers Read: Roxana Robinson.