Set just after the Normandy invasion, Articles of War is the story of Heck, an American GI who has recently arrived from Ohio. Utterly inexperienced as a soldier, Heck is paralyzed with fear during his first firefight. Desperate to get away from the front line, he deliberately allows himself to be shot but a fellow private sees and understands what he has done. Sent to a hospital behind the lines, his wound heals quickly and he returns to find that the witness has been promoted and is now his superior.He says nothing to Heck about his act of cowardice but a little while later sends him to the rear for a special assignment, without telling him what that assignment is.In fact, he has been assigned to the firing squad which will execute Private Eddie Slovak (in reality the only GI shot for desertion during the Second World War and the first since the Civil War). his is Heck s excruciating moral punishment.He, himself a deserter, is forced to shoot another deserter. ick Arvin draws the reader into the unimaginable fear, violence and chaos of the war zone. Like the very best war fiction Pat Barker s Regeneration trilogy, Sebastian Faulks Birdsong he shows how ordinary lives are
Nick Arvin is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the recipient of the Michener Fellowship. He is the author of a collection of short stories, In Electric Eden, and this is his first novel. In 2006 he received the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Nick lives in Denver, Colorado where he works as a forensic engineer.