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Nico Walker      

Author of "Cherry" & Iraq War Veteran

Nicholas Walker is an author and US Army veteran who served time in prison for bank robbery. His semi-autobiographical debut novel, Cherry, was published by Alfred A. Knopf on August 14, 2018.

From 2005 to 2006, Walker served as an Army medic in Iraq, going on more than 250 combat missions. After returning to civilian life, he suffered from undiagnosed PTSD, was depressed and traumatized, and became addicted to heroin. To fund his habit, he robbed ten banks around Cleveland in a span of four months, beginning in December 2010. He was arrested in April 2011, pleaded guilty in 2012 and was given an eleven-year sentence. In 2013, while Walker was behind bars in the Federal Correctional Institution in Ashland, Kentucky, he was profiled in BuzzFeed. This led to a correspondence with Matthew Johnson, a publisher at the independent press Tyrant Books. Johnson sent Walker books and encouraged him to write about his life. He spent nearly four years writing and rewriting.

Nico Walker brings the 21st-century tragedies of the Iraq War and the opioid crisis to life in his debut novel, Cherry. Real-life veteran Walker wrote the book while serving an 11-year federal prison sentence for robbing 11 banks in four months to feed his heroin addiction. Cherry follows an unnamed narrator from college in the Cleveland suburbs to Iraq, where he works as an army medic, and back, tracking his descent into heroin addiction and crime. Walker wrote the novel on a typewriter in the prison’s legal library over the course of three years during his time off from working, he says. Days after the critically acclaimed book was published, it was optioned for a big-screen adaptation by Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo.


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