The second part of our chat with Harry Parker about his debut novel Anatomy of a Soldier begins with a cheerful discussion of decay and destruction of both objects or people. ----more----Parker prefers the word entropy while discussing his own recovery after the bomb blast that destroyed his legs. From there we moved onto:
can fiction resolve trauma?
questions of identity: what Parker sees in the mirror
'fetish of the possible': prosthetic limbs as objects of hope
value and cost: how much is a human life worth?
anger and mourning: recovery and resolution
would Parker shake hands with the man who blew him up
'If you are going to be stupid enough to be a soldier, then you have got to expect that this stuff might happen'
empathy or hatred: Parker's view of the insurgents
the Parker family's relationship with the British army
why did he join up
'The best soldier is anti-war...'
'It's bloody difficult': the challenges of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan
did the occupying armies make life better or worse?