Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Siobhan Fallon

Siobhan Fallon lived at Fort Hood while her husband was deployed to Iraq for two tours of duty. She earned her MFA at the New School in New York City and now lives with her family near the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.

Her new book is You Know When the Men Are Gone.

From a Q & A at her website:

You tell the stories of many different characters, both women and men, mostly at Fort Hood but also in Iraq. How closely are the characters based on real people? How much of your own experience is in this book?

I was inspired by issues that I’ve seen come up again and again when soldiers deploy, but ultimately this is a work of fiction.

Of course there are echoes of my own experience— since our marriage in 2004, my husband and I have lived in four different states, and are currently in the process of moving yet again. Since 2004, my husband has deployed three times, once to Afghanistan, and twice to Iraq. Which means that when I finished writing this collection in 2010, my husband had spent half of our marriage, three of our six years together, being deployed. When he left for his most recent deployment in 2008, our six month old daughter hadn’t even begun to crawl, and when he returned a year later, she was walking, talking, and picking out her own tutus. I think my army spouse experiences, the constant moving around from base to base, the long separations, the children who grow and change while a parent is away, the stress of trying to maintain a healthy marriage when a spouse is in a war zone, might seem strange to the civilian world but are universal challenges faced by all in the military community.

How did you meet your husband? Did you ever think you’d marry a soldier?

I met my husband at my father’s Irish pub, The South Gate Tavern. My dad had been in the Army during the Vietnam War and I was raised right outside of the United States Military Academy at West Point, but...[read on]
Visit Siobhan Fallon's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue