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Memorial Day broadcast: Tim O'Brien on 'The Things They Carried'

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Mary Clare Huberty touches her brother's name
Mary Clare Huberty touches her brother's name on "The Wall that Heals," a three-quarter-scale model of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the State capitol in St. Paul on June 21, 2018.
Lacey Young | MPR News file

Tim O'Brien gave this talk in Blaine in 2010 as part of the Library Foundation of Hennepin County's "Club Book" series.

Tim O'Brien pursues a truth in his fiction that is somewhat based on what he experienced as a soldier in Vietnam. But the resonance of his work, particularly "The Things They Carried," has convinced people that the characters in his stories are drawn more precisely from life.

The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Tim O'Brien was born in Austin, Minn., and raised in Worthington, Minn. He was assigned to 3rd Platoon, A Co., 5th Batt. 46th Inf., as an infantry foot soldier. O'Brien's tour of duty in Vietnam was 1969 to 1970.

O'Brien is the award-winning author of "The Things They Carried," "Going After Cacciato," "In the Lake of the Woods" and "If I Die in a Combat Zone."

He is also the winner of the National Book Award and the 2012 Richard Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award from the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation.