The Deserter's Tale

The Deserter's Tale

House of Anansi Pr | January 19, 2007 | 256 pages
  • by Joshua Key as told to Lawrence Hill
  • House of Anansi Press; 2007
  • Hardcover; 256 pages
  • 978-0-88784-208-5

In this first-ever memoir from a young US soldier who participated for eight months in the war in Iraq and then fled to Canada, Joshua Key offers a vivid and damning indictment of how the war is being waged.

Joshua Key is a husband and father from a conservative background who enlisted in the army to lift his family out of poverty. A year later, President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq and Key was sent to Ramadi. The war he found there was not the campaign against terrorists and "evildoers" he had been told to expect. Key saw Iraqi civilians beaten, maimed, and shot for little or no provocation. He witnessed the killing of a seven-year-old girl who was scrounging leftover army rations, and watched while the dead bodies of Iraqis provided sport for US soldiers. When Key was sent home on leave he knew he could not return to the war. He went underground, finally seeking asylum in Canada. His case is now before the Canadian courts.

In clear-eyed, compelling prose crafted with the help of award-winning Canadian novelist and journalist Lawrence Hill, The Deserter's Tale tells the story of a man who went into the war believing unquestioningly in his government and who was transformed into a person who ethically, morally, and physically could no longer serve his country.
"What's most engaging about this book is its essential honesty... The Deserter's Tale ought to be required reading for soldiers heading overseas..."
- Globe and Mail

"The writing is fluid, crisp and compelling. The story is shocking... Key provides an unvarnished and gut-wrenching account of his company's 'war on terrorism'... With unflinching frankness, Key recounts a series of horrific events that cause him to question his mission and force him to do the unthinkable - betray his buddies and his country."
- Montreal Gazette

"...a story worth telling: how a good man became lost in an immoral system, and in the process lost his livelihood, his nation, and part of himself."
- Quill & Quire

"...a fascinating saga..."
- Winnipeg Free Press

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ISBN: 9780887842085

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