Teacher Guide

The Things They Carried Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried was published in 1990, decades after the war that is its subject. But the book began with the short story that gives the collection its name: "The Things They Carried," was published in Esquire Magazine several years before. This story won the National Magazine Award in 1987 and was included in the 1987 edition of Best American Short Stories, edited by John Updike. It grew into a collection of 22 short stories that can all be read together as interrelated chapters on shared experiences and around the same characters.

The work has been discussed as both fiction and non-fiction, and the author himself called it a work of meta-fiction. The stories in the collection...

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