Bates, Milton J. “Men, Women, and Vietnam.” America Rediscovered: Critical Essays on the Literature and Film of the Vietnam War. Eds. Owen Gilman Jr. and Lorrie Smith, 27–63. New York: Garland, 1990.
This chapter explores how gender shapes individual American experiences in Vietnam, particularly in the story, “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong.”
Beidler, Philip D. American Literature and the Experience of Vietnam. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1982.
A book about the ways American writers have tried to capture what it was like to serve in Vietnam.
Calloway, Catherine. “‘How to Tell a True War Story’: Metafiction in The Things They Carried.” Critique36 (Summer 1995): 249–257.
O’Brien’s use of metafictional ideas, and what effect they may have on the reader, is considered in this academic essay.
Hellman, John. American Myth and the Legacy of Vietnam. New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.
The way American idealism may have affected the way the country understood the war in Vietnam both while it was being fought and through today are the topics of this book.
Herzog, Tobey C. Tim O’Brien. New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan, 1997.
This is a biography of the author of The Things They Carried.
Kaplan, Steven. Understanding Tim O’Brien. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.
Here, the author considers the entirety of O’Brien’s literary output at the time of publication, including The Things They Carried.
Melling, Philip H. Vietnam in American Literature. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990.
Published the same year as The Things They Carried, this academic work looks at other major works about Vietnam.
O’Brien, Tim. “The Vietnam in Me.” New York Times Magazine, October 2, 1994.
In an essay, the author keeps a diary of his return to Vietnam, twenty years after the war, and reflects on how the country – and he – have changed.
Tegmark, Mats. In the Shoes of a Soldier: Communication in Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam Narratives. Sweden: Uppsala, 1998.
The author considers the relationships that three of O’Brien’s novels, including The Things They Carried, builds with their readers, crafting a theory about what makes them so beloved.