rise: (literally alien)
[personal profile] rise posting in [community profile] dreams_library
possibly a weird request, but are there any good (defined as: you read it and liked it) books about the experiences of women and minorities in the american military during the 90s and 00s? or, hell, even minority women? it hit me upside the head the other day how nearly everything seems to be about white guys. and other white guys. and yet more white guys. clearly, i need some stuff that is not about white guys!

i considered asking for books about the experiences of female minority military doctors in active service following hpsp medical training, but, uh, that is probably way too niche.

Date: 2011-06-16 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] foxfinial
Someone I know strongly recommended Battle Dress by Amy Efaw, a novel (based on the author's own experiences) about a young female cadet's experiences in her first summer at West Point. Not a minority, as far as I know, but it's apparently a very good description of the female experience.

Date: 2011-06-16 01:35 pm (UTC)
birgitriddle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] birgitriddle
Love My Rifle More than You is a war memoir by a woman that I've had on my Amazon wishlist for some time, so while I haven't read it yet...it's probably on my wishlist for a reason - it's just that I forgotten why. There's other books suggested on the Amazon page I've linked you to.

Date: 2011-06-16 02:15 pm (UTC)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
From: [personal profile] melannen
...Quite a bit earlier than you wanted, but Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's "Nothing Sacred" and "Healer's War" are SF novels that draw heavily on her experiences as a [white] US Army nurse in the Vietnam War. (Also: fairly hard to find in print, unfortunately. And with the caveat that, while I've enjoyed some of her lighter books, I haven't read these and while they were highly praised by critics it's possible they have race/appropriation/exoticization problems.)

Date: 2011-08-12 03:22 pm (UTC)
boundbooks: Zhang Ziyi (books: elephant reads)
From: [personal profile] boundbooks
I recommend The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq by Helen Benedict. Benedict interviews five women about their experiences:

"Jen, white and from a working-class town in the heartland, who still shakes from her wartime traumas; Abbie, who rebelled against a household of liberal Democrats by enlisting in the National Guard; Mickiela, a Mexican American who grew up with a family entangled in L.A. gangs; Terris, an African American mother from D.C. whose childhood was torn by violence; and Eli PaintedCrow, who joined the military to follow Native American tradition and to escape a life of Faulknerian hardship."

It's very, very good.

Date: 2011-08-12 03:47 pm (UTC)
boundbooks: Zhang Ziyi (avatar: korra polardog!)
From: [personal profile] boundbooks
For a slightly different and very rarely written about view of the American military and military culture, I recommend Beyond the Shadow of Camptown: Korean Military Brides in America by Ji-Yeon Yuh with all my heart. Excellent, excellent book and since it's interview and anecdote-based, it's very compelling reading.

Beyond the Shadow of Camptown: Korean Military Brides in America

"Since the beginning of the Korean War in 1950, nearly 100,000 Korean women have immigrated to the United States as the wives of American soldiers. Based on extensive oral interviews and archival research, Beyond the Shadow of the Camptowns tells the stories of these women, from their presumed association with U.S. military camptowns and prostitution to their struggles within the intercultural families they create in the United States.

Historian Ji-Yeon Yuh argues that military brides are a unique prism through which to view cultural and social contact between Korea and the U.S. After placing these women within the context of Korean-U.S. relations and the legacies of both Japanese and U.S. colonialism vis á vis military prostitution, Yuh goes on to explore their lives, their coping strategies with their new families, and their relationships with their Korean families and homeland. Topics range from the personal—the role of food in their lives—to the communalthe efforts of military wives to form support groups that enable them to affirm Korean identity that both American and Koreans would deny them."

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