Winner of the 2019 Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel, Soldiers is a raw and empathetic portrait of young soldiers as they come of age in the chaos of war.
Tom McLean is originally from Rotorua but now lives in the UK, where he is completing a DPhil in English literature. Tom Remiger is the name under which he writes fiction; his non-fiction and academic writing have been published in a number of journals and magazines.
'This surely is among those best books about war by a writer who
did not take part in one. Soldiers' account of a small group
of men from the remotest edge of Empire who served in the New
Zealand Division's failed invasion of the Greek mainland, and then
Crete, early in the Second World War, strikes me at once as a
stunningly impressive and important novel. The writing is direct
and vivid, it is superbly researched, and the story deeply
understands the men it depicts. It is remarkable, in a narrative so
accurately representing ordinary men during the worst part of their
experience, that it also so sympathetically portrays the usually
hushed-up realities of homosexuality, cowardice, and paranoia. I
love the book's confidence and humanity, and the scale of what it
takes on.' * Vincent O'Sullivan *
'Remiger's book is without parallel in recent New Zealand literature. It is a fine and visceral novel.' * Stuff NZ *