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Finalist for INDIES Book of the Year (Fiction) & Longlisted for the Reading the West Book Awards (Fiction: War & Military)
"Gorgeous writing, necessary witness." - LitHub
"Entirely original and intriguing." - CALEB CAGE, author of Desert Mementos
"This collection should wake us up; it has the power to change us." - DAN O'BRIEN, author of War Reporter & The Body of an American 
 Winner of the Florida Book Award for Fiction & Longlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize
"Impressive." - Esquire
"Not only is Jesse Goolsby one of the very rare authors who writes with authoritative insight into the warfare of the 21st century, he does so with an even deeper insight into the universal human condition. Goolsby’s real subject is the profound yearning for connection, for identity, that drives us all. - ROBERT OLEN BUTLER, Pulitzer Prize-winner
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Jesse Goolsby is the author of the collection Acceleration Hours (University of Nevada Press) and the novel I’d Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), winner of the Florida Book Award for Fiction and long-listed for the Flaherty-Duncan First Novel Prize. His fiction and essays have appeared widely, including The Literary Review, Epoch, TriQuarterly, Narrative Magazine, Salon, Florida ReviewAlaska Quarterly Review, and Pleiades. He is the recipient of the Richard Bausch Short Story Prize, the John Gardner Memorial Award in Fiction, and fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. He serves as Acquisitions Editor for the literary journal War, Literature & the Arts

A US Air Force officer, Goolsby earned an English degree from the United States Air Force Academy, a Master's degree in English from the University of Tennessee, and a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Florida State University. He was raised in Chester, California, and now lives in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.





From the author of the critically-acclaimed novel, I’d Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them, Jesse Goolsby’s Acceleration Hours is a haunting collection of narratives about families, life, and loss during America’s twenty-first-century forever wars.


Set across the mountain west of the United States, these fierce, original, and compelling stories illuminate the personal search for human connection and intimacy. From a stepfather’s grief to an AWOL soldier and her journey of reconciliation to a meditation on children, violence, and hope, Acceleration Hours is an intense and necessary portrayal of the many voices living in a time of perpetual war.

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In this powerful debut novel, three American soldiers haunted by their actions in Afghanistan search for absolution in family and civilian life. 


This richly textured novel telescopes through time to track these unforgettable characters from childhood to parenthood, from redwood forests to open desert roads to the streets of Kabul. Throughout, Jesse Goolsby tackles questions we all face: What is the price of forgiveness? Where can we turn for companionship and understanding? Most of all, what responsibility do we bear toward others: friends, parents, lovers, children, strangers halfway across the world? When violence threatens to sever the links between us, we must strive for connection — at any cost.




Acceleration Hours at LitHub

June 30, 2020

Acceleration Hours gets a lovely shout out over at LitHub! Check it out HERE

May 6th Publication for ACCELERATION HOURS

April 23, 2020

We're quickly approaching the publication date for Acceleration Hours. It's an incredibly challenging time in the world, and it's hard to celebrate anything but improvements in the covid-19 situation. I'm very proud of this book, and I'm happy to share a few of the kinds words folks have said about here. 

Acceleration Hours Cover!

January 06, 2020

I'm thrilled to reveal the cover of my forthcoming book Acceleration Hours. Many thanks to the editors and designer at University of Nevada Press!

ACCELERATION HOURS to be Published by University of Nevada Press!!

October 02, 2019

I'm honored and thrilled to announce that my second book, Acceleration Hours, will be published by the University of Nevada Press in 2020! Acceleration Hours is a collection of narratives set across the American West. I had always thought the dream landing place for this book would be UNP, and what a joy they will bring it into the world. More news about the book in the next few months!

My Essay "God's Zipper" in TriQuarterly

June 03, 2019

I'm very happy to share my latest nonfiction publication (God's Zipper) in the wonderful TriQuarterly. There are rabbits, gold, A-10 aircraft, Snickers, and host of other items. Read the essay HERE

2018 War, Literature & the Arts Conference

September 30, 2018

What a beautiful two days with old friends, new friends, talented, brilliant, and caring people from around the world. Thank you to everyone who made the War, Literature & the Arts Conference possible, and who brought vitality to such an important conversation at the US Air Force Academy.

New WLA Folios!

March 02, 2018

I'm very proud to announce the launch of the 2018 WLA Folios: Body! I edited this edition with the amazing Katie Witt. What a joy to showcase the stunning work of our talented contributors: poetry, fiction, essay, sculpture, and music. Check out the online version HERE. Print version HERE

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Jesse is available for readings, media, book club interaction, craft lectures, and other appearances.