Aaron Gwyn on 'Wynne's War,' the modern Western

Share story

'Wynne's War' by Aaron Gwyn
'Wynne's War' by Aaron Gwyn
Book cover courtesy of publisher

As we continue Western Week on The Daily Circuit, we look at placing the principals of the classic Western novel in a new setting: Afghanistan.

Aaron Gwyn's new novel, "Wynne's War," tells the story of a horse-whispering Army Ranger who gets a new assignment to train Green Berets on horseback.

Gwyn spoke to Publishers Weekly about the inspiration for his new book:

In the spring of 2010, I read Sebastian Junger's stunning account of his time in the Korengal Valley, War, and it gradually dawned on me that it might be possible to create a modern-day western set in Afghanistan. Or, maybe even a blend of the war novel and western: a "Mideastern," I suppose you could call it. I began to do research and soon came across Horse Soldiers, Doug Stanton's nonfiction account of U.S. Special Forces' entry into Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. Through further research, I discovered that not only did the Green Berets use horses to traverse the treacherous and unfamiliar country in 2001, but that they continue to do so to this day. So, at that point, I had my "Monument Valley," I had my cowboys, and the Taliban immediately presented themselves as bandits. What I needed then was a hero, and a quest.

Gwyn joins The Daily Circuit to discuss his idea of the modern Western.