Anderson (The Moon Reflected Fire) has led an amazing life-before, during and after his 1967-1968 tour of duty as a navy corpsman with the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam. He has been a jazz drummer, a playwright, an actor, an alcoholic and son of an alcoholic, a college dropout, a college instructor, a drug abuser, a PTSD sufferer and a poet. In his first book of nonfiction, Anderson tells his story in inviting, poetic prose. He begins with his dysfunctional childhood in Memphis, then offers an evocative depiction of his service in Vietnam, which included a firefight on his first day in the field and more than his share of closely observed horror. He shows the hell of war as he went through it. Only in recent years did Anderson stop drinking, find meaningful work as a poet and teacher, marry and make a life-changing trip back to Vietnam in 2000. Yet what Anderson dubs "Snakebrain" (the demons inside him) remains a part of him. His beautifully told story is one of redemption, but also one without a happy ending. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
An award-winning poet highlights the vibrant history of his generation in a farewell to Vietnam, the chaotic sixties, and their long aftermath.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Meet the Author
Doug Anderson, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, teaches at the University of Connecticut Greater Hartford Campus and lives in Hartford.
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I can't put this memoir down. It will speak to anyone who's interested in the trajectory from self-bewilderment to actualization. It will especially speak to vets, baby-boomers, alcoholics, anyone in the arts. The section on Vietnam competes with the best literature about it: puts you there, makes you understand the fear and disorientation. Anderson captures the sixties and seventies through his own odyssey. A terrific mix of the interior and exterior, his journey is hard won. It makes me want to keep on keeping on. A poet and actor, Anderson applies those talents as a writer. His ear for the right word, and his concision and sense of dramatic timing are superb.
In this memoir, one finds a prose narrative that continues on with the themes found in his two extraordinary volumes of poetry, The Moon Reflected Fire and Blues for Unemployed Secret Police. Whether depicting the insanity of the Viet Nam war or the complexities of early adolescence, whether revisiting a hippie bash in Tucson or a pack of unslept marine corp officers in Que Son valley, whether immersed in the roiling connection between sex and love or lack thereof, Anderson's eye for the truth is equally tender and unsparing. This prose is unmarked with sentimentality yet charged with a heart whose course we are privileged to follow as it winds from childhood into early manhood as an artist and a veteran of war.