The cover to Invisible Wounds. Against an orange background stands a young man in a military helmet, shown from the shoulders up in profile. Behind him is a mountain or hill and what appears to be a field of flowers, maybe poppies. Text over his helmet reads, "Invisible Wounds" and the author's name and the book's subtitle, Graphic Journalism by Jess Ruliffson, appears over his shoulder.
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Jess Ruliffson

Invisible Wounds: Graphic Journalism

On sale date: November 1, 2022

Candid, compassionate graphic interviews with returning war vets from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Cartoonist Jess Ruliffson spent five years traveling across the country interviewing veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, from kitchen tables in Georgia and libraries in New York City to dive bars in Mississippi and back porches in Vermont. What she finds is that the real experience of soldiers at war is a far cry from depictions in popular media like Zero Dark Thirty or American Sniper. In these illustrated interviews, Ruliffson shares the stories of men, women, and non-binary ex-soldiers who struggle to reconcile their wartime experiences with their postwar lives. Identity lies at the heart of these stories, as they grapple with their gender, their race, and the brutality they've witnessed and caused. In this compassionate, probing book, Ruliffson reveals how America's endless entanglement in wars have affected the psyches of the people who wage them.


"A stark meditation on the cost of war based on interviews with veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan." — NPR Books

"This is an exceptional war chronicle that has something for everyone. ... Each story is wholly unique and touches upon all aspects of identity: age, race, gender, sexuality, and location." — Booklist (Starred Review)

"Ruliffson's provocative debut profiles 12 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with sensitivity and unflinching honesty." — Publishers Weekly

"These dozen dramatized interviews speak for the uncountable war veterans throughout history who died with their PTSD, guilt, and pain undiagnosed and misunderstood. Highly recommended for readers willing to brave the wars inside veterans and thus better understand the wars outside them." — Library Journal Starred Review


Full color.
7.8" × 9.6"