Prize-winning Author and Vietnam Vet Tim O’Brien Will Lecture at Baylor Feb. 18 and 19

Author Tim O'Brien
Feb. 12, 2016

Follow us on Twitter:@BaylorUMedia

Contact: Terry Goodrich,(254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Feb. 12, 2016) — Novelist Tim O’Brien, a Vietnam veteran who has written extensively about the war and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, will do a reading and speak about the process of writing his most celebrated novel, “The Things They Carried,” at Baylor on Feb. 18 and 19.

Hosting the event are the department of English, the department of modern languages and cultures, the department of history and the Honors College.

O’Brien will read from his work at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in Bennett Auditorium in Draper Academic Building, 1420 S. Seventh St. He will lecture at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, in Bennett.

O’Brien is “widely regarded as the greatest American writer about the Vietnam war and its aftermath,” said Luke Ferretter, Ph.D., associate professor of English and director of undergraduate studies in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation awarded O’Brien the Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, which honors a body of work that reflects literary excellence and advances the understanding of peace.

O’Brien’s “In the Lake of the Woods” was described by TIME Magazine as the best novel of 1994 and received the James Fenimore Cooper Award from the American Society of Historians.

“The Things They Carried” was a finalist both for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It received France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger award.

O’Brien’s “Going After Cacciato” won the National Book Award in fiction in 1979. He has received awards from American Academy of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Vietnam War divided the country and took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans. In 1968, O'Brien’s graduate education at Harvard was interrupted by a draft notice two weeks after his graduation from Macalester College. In Vietnam, his platoon conducted search-and-destroy missions in some of the same villages that less than a year before had been subjected to the search-and-destroy missions by Lt. William Calley, which resulted in the My Lai Massacre.

In “The Things They Carried,” O’Brien wrote: “In the midst of evil you want to be a good man. You want decency. You want justice and courtesy and human concord.”

The reading and lecture are free to open to the public.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?