This post is in partnership with the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. A version of the article below was originally published on the Ransom Center’s Cultural Compass blog.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. The book depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of 43.

Manuscript page from "Stockings" chapter of The Things They Carried, hand-corrected by Tim O'Brien
Harry Ransom Center

The Ransom Center acquired the archive of the National Book Award–winning writer in 2007, and a finding aid for the collection is available online. Also, read what O’Brien has to say about his papers residing at the Ransom Center.

O’Brien received the 1979 National Book Award in fiction for Going After Cacciato. His other works include the novel July, July and In the Lake of the Woods, which received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians and was named the best novel of 1994 by TIME. O’Brien lives in Austin, Texas.

Read more about O’Brien and see more from the archives here, at the Harry Ransom Center Cultural Compass blog.

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