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Tim O'Brien
Biographical Information

Birth Date:October 1, 1946
Astrology Sign:Libra
Chinese Sign:Dog - Yin
Birth Name:
Birth Place:

Occupation:US novelist

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Tim O'Brien

Biography:Tim O'Brien (born October 1, 1946) is an American novelist who mainly writes about his experiences in the Vietnam War and the impact that the war had on the American soldiers who fought there. He periodically teaches in the MFA fiction writing program at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.

Born in Austin, Minnesota, a small town of about 9,000 people (a setting which figures prominently in his novels). At age 10, O’Brien’s family, including a younger sister and brother, moved to Worthington, Minnesota, a town that once billed itself as “the turkey capital of the world,” exactly the sort of odd and telling detail that appears in O’Brien’s work. Worthington had a large influence on O’Brien’s imagination and early development as an author. A town of ten-thousand people located on Lake Okabena in the western portion of the state and the setting for some of his stories, especially in The Things They Carried. He earned his BA in Political Science from Macalester College in 1968. That same year he was drafted into the infantry, and was sent to Vietnam, where he served from 1969 to 1970. He served in the Americal Division, infamous for its participation in the My Lai massacre. O'Brien has said that when his unit got to the area around My Lai (also called "Pinkville" by the U.S. forces), "'we all wondered why the place was so hostile. We did not know there had been a massacre there a year earlier. The news about that only came out later, while we were there, and then we knew."

Upon completing his tour of duty, O'Brien went on to graduate school at Harvard and received an internship at the Washington Post. His writing career was launched in 1973 with the release of If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Send Me Home, about his war experiences. In this memoir, O'Brien writes: "Can the foot soldier teach anything important about war, merely for having been there? I think not. He can tell war stories."

While O'Brien insists it is not his job or his place to discuss the politics of the Vietnam War, he does occasionally let fly. Speaking years later about his upbringing and the war, O'Brien called his hometown "a town that congratulates itself, day after day, on its own ignorance of the world: a town that got us into Vietnam. Uh, the people in that town sent me to that war, you know, couldn't spell the word 'Hanoi' if you spotted them three vowels." Contrasting the continuing American search for U.S. MIA/POWs in Vietnam with the reality of the Vietnamese war dead, he calls the American perspective "A perverse and outrageous double standard. What if things were reversed? What if the Vietnamese were to ask us, or to require us, to locate and identify each of their own M.I.A.'s? Numbers alone make it impossible: 100,000 is a conservative estimate. Maybe double that. Maybe triple. From my own sliver of experience -- one year at war, one set of eyes -- I can testify to the lasting anonymity of a great many Vietnamese dead."

One attribute unique to O'Brien's work is the blur between fiction and reality, which he himself discusses in The Things They Carried, mentioned in May 2006 as one of the best novels of the past 25 years, especially in the section titled "How to Tell a True War Story". Often, what is written is not what really happened, but what "should have happened," as he states. He calls this "story truth," as distinct from "happening truth."

Chinese Horoscope for Tim O'Brien
Includes characteristics and Vices
Tim O'Brien's Chinese Horoscope
Chinese Year: February 02, 1946 - January 21, 1947
Birthday: October 1, 1946

The Dog is a Yin,
and is the Eleventh sign of the Chinese horoscope.


Personality and Character Cards:
Personality and character cards are identical!

Tim O'Brien's Personality Tarot Card The Emperor - Personality Card

Birthday: October 1, 1946

Material success, stability, authority and ambition.

This year's Growth Tarot Card
Based on this year's birthday

Tim O'Brien's Growth Tarot Card The Moon

Birthday: October 1, 2023

A period of illusion, uncertainty and fluctuation.




Portions of famous people database was used with permission from Russell Grant from his book The Book of Birthdays Copyright © 1999, All rights reserved. Certain biographical material and photos licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, from Wikipedia, which is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

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