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Helen Benedict’s The Good Deed is an ambitious, gorgeously written novel about the lives of refugees and the failure of systems to care for these vulnerable survivors of wars and brutal regimes. It also delves deep into universal themes like anguish, redemption, and motherhood...At its core, The Good Deed is about the prolonged effects of suffering and trauma, the bonds of family (both blood and found), how we help and hurt those we care for, and the power of hope and resilience.

Benedict revisits the terrain of her nonfiction title Map of Hope and Sorrow for a complex and heartbreaking story of Syrians living at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos...Each of the characters’ perspectives is nuanced and carefully wrought. Benedict has crafted an involving tale of a humanitarian crisis.

Benedict’s haunting, timely novel traces the intense journeys of female refugees as their paths collide with a vacationing tourist... (This) true-to-life novel resonates, particularly in the characters’ moments of fortitude in the face of brutal experiences of heartbreak and loss.

The novel comes to an emotional conclusion, reminding us that hope is still to be found in the most desolate of places and prompting the reader to consider why and how we ask a person to prove their own humanity. An insightful reminder of our responsibilities to one another, more important now than ever.

Stories of Refugees Trapped in Greece

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This gut-wrenching collection forcefully documents a humanitarian crisis through the stories of five refugees in asylum purgatory in Greece.

Gut-wrenching and necessary, this book sharply depicts an escalating humanitarian crisis that shows few signs of slowing down...An important, deeply felt look at lives in constant peril.

In ‘Map of Hope and Sorrow,’ journalist Helen Benedict and her co-author Eyad Awwadawnan lace fact-laden analysis with heartstopping firsthand accounts.

Over 100 million people globally are displaced. This book celebrates human resilience and the capacity for hope, serving as a powerful call for tolerance.

In a moving series of interviews with those fleeing persecution, the authors expose the appalling conditions in Greek refugee camps.

This book could feel like a bleak glimpse into a world of tragedy and despair, but occasional moments of humour and genuine connection allow for a contrast that makes it an engaging read. 

 Map of Hope and Sorrow is an immersive account of desperation and courage that shines a light on the real, lived experiences of those who can all too easily be reduced to mere statistics.

"Heartfelt, eye-opening, timely, essential: these stories remind us of the plight of refugees, people just like us, who are desperate to build new lives for themselves and their loved ones."
—Christy Lefteri, The Beekeeper of Aleppo
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Gripping...A low level of dread builds slowly, drawing readers toward the inevitable climactic clash, though Benedict’s memorable and complicated characterization is the true highlight. 

In a book that deserves the widest attention, Benedict 'follows the war home,' engaging readers with an insightful story right up to the gut-wrenching conclusion. (starred review)

The toll on American soldiers and their families was only part of the story Benedict sought to tell. She was also interested in the costs of war a world away. 

Cuts right into the current tenor of American culture, with characters who are haunted by the violence of war.

The best way to make moral choices is to understand the experiences of others. And fictional literature like Wolf Season can take us to a heightened level of understanding about the experience of war.

A powerful picture of the limits of compassion and the knee-jerk nature of emotions: prejudice directed against immigrants and the fear of wolves.

takes contemporary war-and-mil-writing preoccupation with dogs to its fantastical-yet-logical extension...Most striking, however, are two male characters, Louis Martin and Todd Wycombe, both veterans struggling to be men worthy of respect.

Extraordinary insight and sensitivity...offering a unique and multidimensional perspective on women as veterans today in the U.S.

Affecting...The 'very long reach of war' transcends generations. 

 Like other great art, Wolf Season renders a world that defies.... heartlessness, showing us how deeply moved we can be by lives and experiences that bear little resemblance to our own.

Told with honesty and empathy, Wolf Season is a contemporary tale about how the war always comes home.

Compelling. . . . Benedict doesn’t shy away from her characters’ very different faults as they grasp for courage and resilience during their dark times.

Gives readers a deep sense of what it takes to survive and the terrible toll war and loneliness extracts not only on those who go to war but also those waiting at home.

“In Wolf Season, (Helen Benedict) shows us the complicated ways in which the lives of those who serve and those who don’t intertwine and how—regardless of whether you are a soldier, the family of a soldier, or a refugee—the war follows you and your children for generations. Wolf Season is more than a novel for our times; it should be required reading.”
— Elissa Schappell, author of Use Me & Blueprints for Building Better Girls
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The only compelling fictional account I’ve read of a woman in combat, Benedict’s writing is impressive, passionate, and visceral.  - 10 BEST CONTEMPORARY WAR NOVELS

This is 'The Things They Carried' for women in Iraq.

Women In the U.S. Military Are Brought Out Of The Shadows In These 11 Books

Benedict has crafted a fictional explanation for some of the lurid real-world headlines from the Iraqi occupation. She also gives the reader a convincing and affecting portrait of two resilient young women caught up in war.

Funny, shocking, painful, and, at times, deeply disturbing, Sand Queen takes readers beyond the news and onto the battlefield.

Her gritty description of a soldier's life in the Iraq desert is particularly well done. SAND QUEEN is so powerful precisely because Helen Benedict is so pissed off.

Gut-wrenching.... not recommended for the faint of heart...a novel that will leave you deeply unsettled if not shaken to the root of your being.

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Women enter the military for the same reasons men do...Yet as Benedict documents in her important, finely drawn book, “The Lonely Soldier,” many find out they’re fighting two wars: the one against the official enemy and the one against their male compadres.

In her new book, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, Helen Benedict examines the experience of female soldiers serving in the US military in Iraq and elsewhere.

“The word victim looms too large,” Benedict writes. “So, we journalists are left with a dilemma: How are we to explore the exploitation and abuse of human beings without calling anyone a victim? Is this even possible?”

Benedict's book, filled with compelling and heartbreaking stories, is a groundbreaking testament to the bravery, resilience, and almost insurmountable obstacles faced by women stationed in Iraq.

In the long tradition of stories about women on opposite sides of a war, Benedict does a great job of humanizing both, while dealing with the inequities, racial, gendered and economic, of the war in Iraq. 

Some were warned by officers not to go to the latrine by themselves. One began carrying a knife in case she was attacked by comrades. Others said they felt discouraged to report assaults.

In her book “The Lonely Soldier”, author Helen Benedict details the overlap between private corporations who engaged in war-fighting and the government officials who supported the conflict in Iraq.

Benedict takes the entire laundry list of what others want to sweep under the rug and reveals patterns of sexual abuse against women.

What she uncovered—from deceitful recruiting techniques to relentless sexual harassment and frequently unreported assaults by male colleagues—makes for gut-twisting reading.

“No matter your politics, this book is vital. Helen Benedict's brilliant and compassionate reporting is neither left nor right -- it's human. For a man reading The Lonely Soldier, you know these women -- they are your mother, sister, cousin, daughter. Their stories of injustice in the U.S. Military will tear your guts out.”
—Dale Maharidge, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning And Their Children After Them
Women at War in Iraq

By the end of the play, you are keenly aware of the desensitizing that female soldiers had to go through to survive in such an environment. It feels like the opposite of progress.

Like black Americans who battled fascism abroad only to return to injustice at home during the world wars, the women warriors in Iraq fought two battles at once: one against insurgents who wanted them dead, and another against the sexism and misogyny of the men who supposedly had their backs.

Rape, cover-ups, and harassment in the field play out with suitable pathos, but somehow what lingers are the less sensational, more unanticipated ordeals—

Audiences...have the thrilling experience of being face-to-face with the characters, adding the immediacy of theater to what is already a rich literary experience.  

The plight of women soldiers fighting in Iraq, who not only faced the trauma of war but sexual harrassment by their male counterparts, is to be laid bare.

An intimate, unflinching, and sometimes disturbing portrait of women in today’s military.

Lonely Soldier  shines a light on seven women who...share firsthand experiences of war, their own personal struggles and discrimination. Benedict, who has testified before Congress on her findings, interviewed dozens of women in preparation for writing the book.

“It’s outrageously immoral that our female soldiers have to fear many of the male soldiers they serve with, as well as being let down by the very Veterans Affairs system that's supposed to help them out. Thanks to Helen Benedict, the world is watching!”
—Roseanne Barr, Emmy Award-winning actor
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