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JT Blatty Signs Snapshots Sent Home Memoir at Octavia Books, Sat. Feb. 24, 2024

February 24 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm CST

Documentary photojournalist JT Blatty will read from her new book, Snapshots Sent Home: From Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine—A Memoir, and talk about her experiences as a US combat veteran and photographer in Ukraine, at a booksigning event hosted by Octavia Books, 511 Octavia St, New Orleans, on Saturday, February 24, 4–5:30 PM Central Time. The event takes place on the second anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Like many post-9/11 combat veterans, JT Blatty struggled to regain her sense of purpose in the years returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. Then, in 2018, a chance encounter brought her to Ukraine as a documentary photojournalist, drawn in by the familiarity of war and those who serve in wars. She discovered Ukraine’s volunteer soldiers, a tribe of revolutionaries, ordinary men and women, most without military training, who in 2014 self-deployed to the War in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine. Over five years, as she embedded with them on the front line in bunkers and forests, and in Kyiv flats, creating a photographic/audio archive, JT’s story began to blend with theirs in a universal bond of combat veterans, compelling her to stay as a new war began.

“… Snapshots Sent Home is an intimate, finely-written memoir about the truths and realities shared by soldiers everywhere. Moving between the author’s experiences in Ukraine, where she lives and works as a photographer, and before that in Iraq and Afghanistan, where she served as a US military officer, Blatty ruminates about the nature of comradeship, patriotism, longing, loss, life and death; memory and love. ‘Butterflies on fire’ is a phrase that makes a debut too, but you will have to read this devastatingly moving book to understand its meaning. Snapshots Sent Home should be read by anyone who cares about what we do on history’s battlefields, and about how we process what we have done afterwards. This is a lot more than a book about snapshots. And JT Blatty is a lot more than a photographer and former soldier. She is a helluva writer too, and I am certain that what she says here will stay on in readers’ minds for a long time to come.” —Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer, The New Yorker; author of Che Guevara and The Fall of Baghdad

Books will be available for sale at the event through Octavia Books.


February 24
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm CST


Octavia Books
511 Octavia St
New Orleans, LA 70115-2055
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