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Author of such classic wartime novels as Birdy and A Midnight Clear, William Wharton was one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. However, he was also a very private man—he wrote under a pseudonym and rarely gave interviews—so fans and critics could only speculate how much of his work was autobiographical and how much was fiction.
Now, for the first time, we are able to read the author's own account of his experiences during World War II—events that went on to influence some of his greatest works.
These are the tales that Wharton never wanted to tell his children. Together, they illuminate a deeply personal, transformative experience: of learning to kill, to "abandon my natural desire to live, survive, and to risk my life for reasons I often did not understand and sometimes did not accept." Moving and insightful, Shrapnel is a powerful, timeless work from an acclaimed American master.