Water & Power
Author: Steven Dunn
Publisher: Tarpaulin Sky Press (2018)
Navy veteran Steven Dunn's second novel, Water & Power, plunges into military culture and engages with perceptions of heroism and terrorism. In this shifting landscape, deployments are feared, absurd bureaucracy is normalized, and service members are consecrated. Water & Power is a collage of voices, documents, and critical explorations that disrupt the usual frequency channels of military narratives.
"Dunn's remarkable talent for storytelling collapses the boundaries between poetry and prose, memoir and fiction. Dunn reveals, exacerbates, and speculates on the gargantuan mythology of a legendary branch of the American armed forces: The Navy. How is a superpower created and maintained? Who maintains it? What stories are told, buried or collected along the way stories of survival, violence, duty and ethics? Among the interviews, photographs, and journal entries Dunn shows us an intimate portrait of power: like water, you are never quite sure who is claiming control beneath the surface."
"Dunn unrelentingly captures the difficult, funny, abject, exhilarating, heartbreaking and maddening aspects of Navy life, both on and off duty. Read this book and understand the veterans in your life better, understand the aggressive disconnection the armed forces demands, and retain a much clearer picture of the people who wear the uniform in America's name—as who we are, complex and bold and conflicted and powerful and terrified and tough and human.