Eisenstock to Discuss Warrior

Palisades writer Alan Eisenstock will discuss his latest nonfiction book, Warrior: A Memoir, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, in the Palisades Library community room, 861 Alma Real. The public is invited.

Co-authored by Eisenstock, Warrior is the story of Theresa Larson, a former Marine platoon commander in Iraq, previously an All-American softball player, a fitness model, and beauty pageant contestant. She also suffered from bulimia nervosa, sometimes throwing up eight times a day in Iraq while she led her platoon. Finally, realizing that she had to literally save her life, Theresa voluntarily evacuated herself from combat and fought her way to recovery. None of her commanding officers understood what she was going through; some had not even heard of the disease.

Warrior recounts the journey and struggles Larson went through to become a healthy woman. Kirkus Reviews calls the book “. . . honest, heartbreaking, poignant . . . a courageous and inspiring memoir.”

After graduating from Villanova, where she took part in ROTC, Larson joined the Marines and trained to be a leader of mostly male soldiers. Her exemplary fitness helps her excel physically, but the mental and emotional stress of preparing herself and her Marines is intense.

Sexism is part of Larson’s military world, and she combats it head on, letting the men she commands know that she will not tolerate derogatory treatment. However, when her platoon moves to Iraq, she enters a country that has even greater sexism. At one point, she switches her stripes with an officer beneath her, because the Iraqi officials won’t negotiate with a woman.

“There are a lot of experiences she had in Iraq that will be really eye-opening—what it was like dealing with the Iraqi government people,” Eisenstock said. “It was unbelievable.”

Eisenstock’s talk is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Warrior is his 13th book and he is currently working on pro basketball great Elgin Baylor’s autobiography.

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