Brat Life

Growing Up Military in Fiction and Nonfiction


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About the Book

With hundreds of thousands of current and former military brats in the United States, their lives as children of service members are surprisingly little documented. Reading about the experiences of fellow brats can help these children of warriors understand both themselves and the unique world in which they were raised. Learning of the challenges that these children face will also help the general population consider how to honor and to help those whose lives were shaped by the military without volunteering or being drafted.
This book explores the military brat experience as reflected in novels intended for adults, adolescent fiction, autobiographies and biographies, and highlights the common elements: frequent moves, the ever-present sense of danger, the potential loss of the service member, and isolation from the larger civilian world. By understanding the lives of brats, we can better understand the very real costs—beyond the lives of service members themselves—that families bear in the name of our collective freedom and security.

About the Author(s)

Caren J. Town is a professor of English at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

Caren J. Town
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 173
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7696-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5131-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction: Looking Inside the Walls of the Fortress 3

One. ÒI rarely give up my vigilance, and I have no idea what it is I am waiting forÓ: ­Book-Length Autobiographies 15

Two. ÒBlanket of riskÓ: Shorter Autobiographical Narratives 45

Three. ÒOur fathers are military officers first, and fathers secondÓ: Young Adult Novels of Brat Life 57

Four. ÒMilitary brats don’t have hometownsÓ: Adult Novels About Brat Life 88

Five. ÒA Secure BaseÓ: Famous Brats and Their Life Stories 123

Conclusion: ÒWarriors [and Their Families] Have a Right to Reclaim Their LivesÓ: The Price We Pay and the Solutions We Can (But Do Not) Offer 149

Bibliography 159

Index 163