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Many consider Israel's engagement in southern Lebanon in the 90s to have been its most pointless. Friedman, a Canadian-Israeli journalist, has written a compelling account of that war, filtered through the lens of the small deserted outpost (the Pumpkin) in the no-man's land where he was stationed for his army service. Matti Friedman will be here on May 15.
— From Pumpkinflowers
"A book about young men transformed by war, written by a veteran whose dazzling literary gifts gripped my attention from the first page to the last." --The Wall Street Journal
"Friedman's sober and striking new memoir . . . is] on a par with Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried -- its Israeli analog." --The New York Times Book Review
It was just one small hilltop in a small, unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples that are still felt worldwide today. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; flowers was the military code word for "casualties." Award-winning writer Matti Friedman re-creates the harrowing experience of a band of young Israeli soldiers charged with holding this remote outpost, a task that would change them forever, wound the country in ways large and small, and foreshadow the unwinnable conflicts the United States would soon confront in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.