Helen Benedict’s latest novel, Wolf Season (Bellevue Literary Press)–her seventh– cuts right into the current tenor of American culture, with characters who are haunted by the violence of war, including sexual violence, and bursting with rage.

Wolf Season is set not in quite the present day, however, but in that distant era of 2015. It is her third book about the Iraq War and its lasting impact on American veterans and Iraqi refugees. According to figures from the Pew Research Center the number of Americans who served in the Gulf Wars since 1990 amounts to only about two percent of the total U.S. population, but when Benedict spoke about her new book at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn in October, it felt as if she were describing seeds of anger and mistrust that have been germinating in the country for at least a decade and a half.

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