The literature of war has ancient roots, but it’s still vital: as long as war exists we will write about it. War is one of the most profound experiences we can have, and literature is one of our most profound responses to experience. The novel is the last form of writing to emerge from conflict zones: the long war in Iraq is only now beginning to reveal itself through fiction. And it is fiction that reveals the true nature of war, the emotional depths and explosions, the spiritual costs, the psychological complexities.