A previously unpublished wartime memoir from the acclaimed author of Birdy and A Midnight Clear.
One of the most acclaimed American writers of his generation, and author of classic novels such as Birdy, A Midnight Clear and Dad, William Wharton was a very private man. Writing under a pseudonym, he rarely gave interviews, so fans and critics could only guess 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 the Second World War, events that went on to influence some of his greatest novels.
These are the tales that Wharton never wanted to tell his children. It is an unforgettable true story from one of America’s greatest writers.
‘A brave, unsettlingly frank memoir, that engages from start to finish.’ Evening Standard
‘One of the harshest of war memoirs that I've ever read' Libby Purves, Radio 4’s Midweek
‘An extraordinary memoir… once Wharton goes to war, Shrapnel becomes simply astonishing.’ The Australian
‘A raw, often farcical, sometimes brutal and occasionally tragic account of the bloody business of soldiering.’ Charles Lambert, author of Little Monsters
‘A remarkable book.’ Vanessa Gebbie, author of The Coward’s Tale
‘Harrowing yet gripping.’ The Lady
About the author
William Wharton was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1925. During the Second World War, Wharton served in the US army, until an injury led to his discharge. In 1978, Wharton’s first novel, ‘Birdy’, was published to critical acclaim. Before his death in 2008, Wharton penned 8 further novels, and 3 memoirs. The most recent memoir, ‘Shrapnel’, was published for the first time in English in 2012.