In Conversation with Brain O'Hare

Join M.Judson Booksellers on Wednesday, November 16th at 5:30 pm for an In Conversation event with Brian O’Hare, winner of the 2021 Veterans Writing Award!

They’ll be chatting about his novel, Surrender. In the tradition of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Brian O’Hare’s Surrender is a rich collection of coming-of-age stories, a journey into the heart of the American hero myth, from the Friday night football fields of Western Pennsylvania to a battalion of Marines in the Persian Gulf and beyond. But what happens when the crowds stop cheering and the welcome home parades are over? Find out at this free event!


Winner of the Syracuse University Press’ 2021 Veterans Writing Award chosen by National Book Award winner and Marine Phil Klay

Guilt, fear, and brutality collide with love and acceptance as a diverse cast of characters struggle to reconcile mythology with reality, and to find meaning in a uniquely American chaos.

In bittersweet stories with surprising humor, the characters grapple with the choices they’ve made and a country they no longer understand. Written in spare and unsentimental prose, yet with a startling emotional punch, these stories, and the unforgettable characters who tell them, will live long in the reader’s imagination.


“SURRENDER is written in delightful, incisive prose bursting with humanity. It is deeply observed and emotionally powerful, sharp on both the cultural mores of young men and on the deeper consequences of what happens when that mixes with American military power. And each story boasts richly imagined characters that live on in the mind long after you’ve finished reading”

— Phil Klay, author of Redeployment, winner of the National Book Award

“What does it mean to be a man? It’s a good (and complicated) question, but Brian O’Hare’s collection, SURRENDER, can stand with Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories and the work of Andre Dubus in those writers’ attempt to illuminate the cost and fragility of that answer. These stories are not long, but each is a jab to the heart.”

—Jim Krusoe, author of The Sleep Garden

“O’Hare’s SURRENDER crackles with not only the gunfire of combat but the livewire sparks of human emotions. His characters, led by the war-haunted Marine Lieutenant Francis Keane, are as authentic as they come: they ache and groan and break into pieces only to rebuild themselves, shard by shard. This fiction is the stuff of real life. These pages breathe, my friends.”

—David Abrams, author of Brave Deeds


Brian O’Hare is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and former US Marine Corps officer. His career began in a Baltimore bar, the legendary Club Charles, where director John Waters cast him to appear in his film Cry Baby. Currently, he’s an award-winning writer and filmmaker living in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in WarLiterature and the ArtsSanta Fe Writers ProjectHobart; and other journals, and he has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. He was named a Writing Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and recently served as Visiting Writer at CUNY/Kingsborough (Brooklyn). This is his debut novel.