The Visiting Writer Series: Tim O’Brien

Hello, Readers! Hopefully your Thursday is grand and you’ve had many adventures today, or at least a good cup of coffee.

Did you all know that I’m an English major? If not, now you do, and the event that I’m going to be writing about is one that I’ve looked forward to and geeked out about (to the blank stares and misunderstandings of my friends and family) for basically the whole semester. This event was put on by the English Department this morning and was an event in a series of events called the Visiting Writers Series.

This series invites authors to come to Hope to read and talk about their poetry or writings. This is a lost art form, I think, and am excited that Hope has events where this is praised. In the past for this series, there have been local poets and authors that have graced Hope’s campus, but this morning at 11 o’clock in the Knickerbocker Theater (which is in the building next to the Anderson-Werkman Center), the VWS hosted Tim O’Brien, author of the famous book, The Things They Carried. How cool is that?!

Look there he is! Wowowow too cool, I'm still not over it!!
Look there he is! Wowowow too cool, I’m still not over it!!

The Things They Carried has become one of my favorite books, as I read the book for fun, and recently have been reviewing it in my Creative Writing class. The theme of the fictional short stories in it are about the Vietnam War and the experiences of the soldiers in the war. Quite honestly, it is one of the most gorgeously worded books I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot of books. The language in it uses the best imagery and combination of words. If you haven’t read it already, RUN to read it now. You won’t be disappointed.

Tim read only one section of the book called “Ambush”, but described the writing process and culmination of different stories to get to the final product of the story. It was beautiful and heartbreaking to hear his own thoughts and references of the war in reference to what is going on in the world today concerning ISIS and the recent attacks in Paris. It was humbling to realize that war does not just affect the people involved, but embeds its memories into everyone that knew someone involved in war.

In light of current events, it is important to think of war as something concrete, and not as just an abstract word that we can’t put an image or idea to. This book helped me to understand the implications and actual meaning of war, while reading an incredible piece of literature. I highly recommend it.

It was an awesome treat to be able to attend this event this morning. I am thankful for Hope and their provision for the opportunity to experience such a fulfilling event.

Until next time, Readers!

Questions about what I wrote? Check the bio and get in touch!

Published by Mikaila Bisson

Hi there! I'm a Hope Senior from Sterling Heights, Michigan (about 45 minutes North of Detroit). I'm an English major with a Creative Writing emphasis (fitting), and have a Business minor. I'm super active in Hope life. I am a Student Ambassador, the Senior Treasurer on the Executive Board of Nykerk, and was involved in Orientation as an AD. I also work on campus at the Career Development Center as a Career Advisor, and at Hope's Physical Plant. I love playing any kind of sport (soccer's my favorite!), have a weakness for shoes, eat dessert twice a day, read like its my job, am currently watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix, and have a passion for Golden Retrievers. Contact me at because I'd love to hear from any and everyone. Also feel free to follow my super trendy Instagram account at @miktroubleee or my equally as trendy, even more Hope-filled Twitter account at @hopemikaila17 .

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