Brian Van Reet


Brian Van Reet was born in Houston and grew up there and in Maryland. Following the September 11 attacks, he left the University of Virginia, where he was an Echols Scholar, and enlisted in the U.S. Army as a tank crewman. He served in Iraq under stop-loss orders and received a Bronze Star for valor. After an honorable discharge he completed degrees in English at the University of Missouri and an M.F.A. at the University of Texas Michener Center for Writers.

Van Reet began publishing short fiction in 2008, three years after returning from Iraq. His stories have won the Gulf Coast Prize, been named distinguished stories in the Best American anthology, and twice won the Texas Institute of Letters short story award. His essays and articles have appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere.

In 2017 his first novel, Spoils, was published in multiple languages and territories around the world. The book was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and was named one of the year’s best by the Guardian, Military Times, British GQ, the New Zealand Listener, and the Wall Street Journal, which called it “the finest Iraq War novel yet written by an American.”

Photo by Peter Tsai
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Literary agent: Peter Straus at Rogers, Coleridge & White
Film and TV: Cathy King at 42
U.S. publicity email: Sabrina.Callahan [at]
U.K. publicity email: AONeill [at]