Here is another major clue that This Is Us will be delving into the story of Jack’s tour of duty in Vietnam next season. Renowned Vietnam journalist and author Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried) has joined the hit NBC family drama as consultant for the upcoming third season.
O’Brien is best known for his The Things They Carried, a collection of semi-autobiographical stories inspired by his experiences in the Vietnam War published in 1990. He was drafted during the Vietnam war and served from 1969 to 1970.
“Tim has been a writing hero of mine since college,” said This Is Us creator and executive producer Dan Fogelman. “I’ve written more papers on The Things They Carried than I am comfortable sharing. It was incredibly intimidating bringing him into our room to discuss a Vietnam plot line – and it was even more rewarding. I’ve never said this before, but I can’t wait to be rewritten by him.”
In one of the final scenes from the Season 2 finale of This Is Us, Kevin (Justin Hartley) was seen with new girlfriend, Zoe (Melanie Liburd), jetting off to Vietnam, where his father Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) had served in wartime and lost his brother, Nicky. In interviews following the finale, cast and producers have teased some surprising revelations about Jack’s time in Vietnam next season.
The Things They Carried was named by the New York Times as one of the 22 best books of the last quarter century. It was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The title story from The Things They Carried received the National Magazine Award and was selected by John Updike for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories of the Century.
O’Brien’s earlier novel Going After Cacciato received the National Book Award in Fiction in 1979. His The Lake of the Woods, published in 1994, was chosen by Time magazine as the best novel of that year. His other honors include the Katherine Anne Porter Award, presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for a distinguished lifetime body of work; the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award from the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation; the Lifetime Achievement Award in Literature from the Pritzker Military Library, and most recently, this year he received the Mark Twain Award in literature. His novels have sold more than six million copies and have been translated into more than 20 languages.
O’Brien is repped for film and television by CAA.