Fatal Light: A Novel (Contemporary American Fiction)

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9780140119459: Fatal Light: A Novel (Contemporary American Fiction)
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The death-haunted nightmare world of a medic in Vietnam is set against scenes of the tranquil world he so desperately yearns for--small-town America

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In 1967, a West Virginia 18-year-old is ordered to report for induction later that year, a far cry from the college football scholarship he had hoped for and the promise of luminous places. His father plies him with military memories of sex and music; his mother puts on an unwavering face; and his girlfriend, Mary, tells him she won't wait for him.

Once in country, the soldier goes on rescue missions (which often involve picking up more dead than wounded), smokes pot, tries to cope with the dense air, elephant grass, monkeys' screams--and not focus on the killing. He encloses a photo with a letter to Mary and points out that the bulge in his pocket is a paperback of Emily Dickinson: "Such things live together here, poetry and shotguns." Richard Currey writes in that same mixture of violence and lyricism, because for his soldier Vietnam is a place of cruel extremes. Next to a spot where bodies are piled, "the sun was dropping in an elegant fog of muted roses that I might call lovely if I though my feelings were intact," he later tells his girlfriend.

Discharge brings the difficulty of resuming life. Attempting to describe his experience, he brings up one of the more palatable names for Vietnam--"a world of hurt." Fatal Light is an achingly poetic re-creation of an ugly history.

About the Author:

Richard Curry is the author of Fatal Light, a PEN/Hemingway Award finalist, and of The Wars of Heaven. He lives in New Mexico.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780977679928: Fatal Light

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0977679926 ISBN 13:  9780977679928
Publisher: Santa Fe Writer's Project, 2009
Softcover

9780525246220: Fatal Light

Dutton, 1988
Hardcover

9780571141371: Fatal light

Faber ..., 1989
Softcover

9780571152537: Fatal Light

Faber ..., 1988
Hardcover

9780395859957: Fatal Light

Marine..., 1997
Softcover

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