The Book Cellar
Come join us at The Book Cellar to celebrate the release Whitney Terrell's new book The Good Lieutenant and hear him in discussion with local favorite, Gillian Flynn.
Whitney Terrell's first novel, The Huntsman (Viking), was a New York Times notable book and was selected as a best book of 2001 by The Kansas City Star and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His second novel, The King of Kings County (Viking), won the William Rockhill Nelson award from The Kansas City Star and was selected as a best book of 2005 by the Christian Science Monitor. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has also taught fiction at Princeton University and was the Hodder Fellow for 2008-2009.
His non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Details, Harper's Magazine,The New York Observer, The Kansas City Star, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq during 2006 and 2010 and covered the war for The Washington Post Magazine, Slate and NPR. He was born and raised in Kansas City. He is a graduate of Princeton University and has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
The Good Lieutenant literally starts with a bang as an operation led by Lieutenant Emma Fowler of the Twenty-seventh Infantry Battalion goes spectacularly wrong. Men are dead--one, a young Iraqi, by her hand. Others were soldiers in her platoon. And the signals officer, Dixon Pulowski. Pulowski is another story entirely--Fowler and Pulowski had been lovers since they met at Fort Riley in Kansas.
From this conflagration, The Good Lieutenant unspools backward in time as Fowler and her platoon are guided into disaster by suspicious informants and questionable intelligence, their very mission the result of a previous snafu in which a soldier had been kidnapped by insurgents. And then even further back, before things began to go so wrong, we see the backstory unfold from points of view that usually are not shown in war coverage--a female frontline officer, for one, but also jaded career soldiers and Iraqis both innocent and not so innocent. Ultimately, as all these stories unravel, what is revealed is what happens when good intentions destroy, experience distorts, and survival becomes everything.
Brilliantly told and expertly captured by a terrific writer at the top of his form, Whitney Terrell's The Good Lieutenant is a gripping, insightful, necessary novel about a war that is proving to be the defining tragedy of our time.
Gillian Flynn’s work has been published in twenty-eight countries. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Brett Nolan, their son, and a giant black cat named Roy. In theory she is working on her next novel. In reality she is possibly playing Ms. Pac-Man in her basement lair.
Flynn's 2006 debut novel, the literary mystery Sharp Objects, was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards—the first book ever to win multiple Daggers in one year.
The 2012 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl, won Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainer of the Year, People Magazine Best books of the year, and was an Edgar Award nominee for Best Novel. The movie was a 2014 Oscar nominee.
The 2009 New York Times bestseller Dark Places, was a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice. It is now a major motion picture.