While In Darkness There Is Light

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Literary Nonfiction. A tale of stunningly wealthy young men searching for a moral compass in a world that seems to have gone mad, WHILE IN DARKNESS THERE IS LIGHT rivals Jon Krackauer at his best. Bryant chronicles the events leading up to the 1974 disappearance and execution of Charlie Dean, brother of the Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. Although several articles have been published about the recovery of Charlie's remains in 2004, none has investigated in any depth what Charlie was doing in ...

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While in Darkness There is Light: Idealism and Tragedy on an Australian Commune

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Overview

Literary Nonfiction. A tale of stunningly wealthy young men searching for a moral compass in a world that seems to have gone mad, WHILE IN DARKNESS THERE IS LIGHT rivals Jon Krackauer at his best. Bryant chronicles the events leading up to the 1974 disappearance and execution of Charlie Dean, brother of the Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. Although several articles have been published about the recovery of Charlie's remains in 2004, none has investigated in any depth what Charlie was doing in Southeast Asia when he was taken prisoner by the communist Pathet Lao. The author's husband, Harry Reynolds, knew Charlie and Howard in boarding school and spent six months with Charlie in Australia just before he went to Laos. Charlie and Harry were visiting three American friends who went to Australia during the Vietnam era and established an agrarian commune called Rosebud Farm. All the young men were from privileged families and full of optimism about the future until the war brought disillusionment crashing down on them. Charlie's death marks the full tragedy of that disillusionment. The research and writing are based on journals, letters, and interviews with the Rosebud farmers and with Dean family members.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780976899396
  • Publisher: Black Lawrence Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Louella Bryant is the author of WHILE IN DARKNESS THERE IS LIGHT (Black Lawrence Press, 2008), which chronicles the events leading up to the death of Charlie Dean in 1974. She is also the author of the story collection Full Bloom, which won the Premier Award for Fiction. Her young adult novel The Black Bonnet was a finalist for the Vermont Book Award, and Father By Blood won the Silver Bay Children's Literature Award. Louella has been awarded numerous prizes for her short stories and poems, which have appeared in the magazines WomenArts Quarterly Journal, Hunger Mountain, The Adirondack Review, Fine Print, Vermont Life, The Teacher's Voice, Farmhouse and Mobius, and the anthologies High Horse, Tartts 2-Incisive Fiction from Emerging Writers, and A Cadence of Horses. Her essays are included in the anthologies Far From Home, Lessons From Our Parents and Southern Sin as well as the magazines Atrium, Sacred Fire, and Vermont Quarterly. In addition to serving on the faculty of the Spalding University MFA in Writing Program, Louella mentors writing students at the New England Young Writers Conference at Bread Loaf.

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Table of Contents


Foreword     ix
Author's Note     xix
Laos, September 1974     23
Senior Prefect     29
Times A-Changing     39
Outward Bound     49
The Buck Nixon Club     55
Wallaby Roadkill     65
Treading Water     71
Sundowners     81
No Worries     93
The Rosebud Project     101
Big Mama     113
Respite     125
Barron Gorge     137
Bloomfield     145
Cape Tribulation     155
Black Marlin     163
Aussie Christmas     173
Melbourne     181
Pascoe River     193
Native Soil     199
Southeast Asia     203
Pathet Lao     215
Chapter 23     225
Afterword     231
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2008

    A Moving Story

    This is a story about a group of young men who were seemingly born with silver spoons in their mouths, attending prep schools, summering in the Hamptons, playing tennis and golf at country clubs, going to the finest colleges, and probably drinking tea out of fine china with pinkies extended. By all means, these young folks should have been pure, unadulterated, spoiled snobs. But these young men totally surprised me. These amazing 20-somethings were filled with wanderlust, and they ended up, by their own decisions, on a piece of scrub property in the rain forest of Australia, and they turned it into a working farm visited by hundreds (if not thousands) of similar young folks searching to find themselves. For me, the book was somewhat nostalgic as I was just about their ages during these troubled times in the late 60¿s/early 70¿s, but never in my wildest dreams would I have left the comforts that they had to toil endlessly in a foreign country. These were extremely intelligent young people, mature for their years, who survived and thrived and had the experience of a lifetime. It is a tale with a tragic ending, but you know that going into the story. It¿s the events that lead up to that tragic ending that will keep you riveted and entertained.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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