The Return of the Soldier was Rebecca West‘s (later, Dame Rebecca West) first novel.  Though considered slight against her later work, most famously a travel-history-political analysis of the Balkans, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), which at the time of the 1990-91 breakup of Yugoslavia was still one of the best books available on that area, it has recently come into higher regard.

As with Virginia Woolf’s later Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and Dorothy L Sayers The Unpleasantness of the Bellona Club (1928), The Return of the Soldier, is about a returning, shell-shocked victim of World War I.  None are about the causes, or pathologies, of what we now call PTSD, but are about the women’s reactions and actions when faced with the injured man.

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