“Young is a frank, funny and mercilessly self-lacerating narrator. His writing is entertaining and experimental . . . Eat the Apple is a brilliant and barbed memoir of the Iraq War.”
—Maureen Corrigan, NPR, Fresh Air
Eat the Apple is a daring, twisted, and darkly hilarious story of American youth and masculinity in an age of continuous war. Matt Young joined the Marine Corps at age eighteen after a drunken night culminating in wrapping his car around a fire hydrant. The teenage wasteland he fled followed him to the training bases charged with making him a Marine. Matt survived the training and then not one, not two, but three deployments to Iraq, where the testosterone, danger, and stakes for him and his fellow grunts were dialed up a dozen decibels. Visceral, ironic, self-lacerating, and ultimately redemptive, Young’s story drops us unarmed into Marine Corps culture and lays bare the absurdism of 21st century war, the manned-up vulnerability of those on the front lines, and the true, if often misguided, motivations that drove a young man to a life at war. Searing in its honesty, tender in its vulnerability, and brilliantly written, Eat the Apple is a modern war classic in the making and a powerful coming-of-age story that maps the insane geography of our times.
Matt Young holds an MA in Creative Writing from Miami University and is the recipient of fellowships with Words After War and the Carey Institute for Global Good. His work can be found in Tin House, Word Riot, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. He is a combat veteran, and lives in Olympia, Washington, where he teaches writing.