I Married Vietnam: A Novel

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9780807612880: I Married Vietnam: A Novel

An account of the lives of Samantha and Jeremy Freeman, an interracial couple united and irrevocably affected by the Vietnam war, describes their struggles to acclimate themselves to a "real world" marked by prejudice and contempt.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Tale of a Vietnam vet from the point of view of his long-suffering wife, in an apparently autobiographical first novel from a Chicago writer. Frazier takes us back to the very moment of birth of Jeremy Freeman, a Native/African American from a Mississippi Delta sharecropping family. She takes him through high school, where he shows promise both as a scholar and athlete, until an accident crushes his leg, ending his football career, and in a dark mood he volunteers for the Army's Air-borne Rangers--and, of course, Vietnam. About half the novel concerns Jeremy's experiences in combat, which are grueling indeed. In fact, Frazier in this respect is reminiscent of John Nichols in American Blood, another tale of combat that is bloodier and more intense than combat truly is, therefore seeming maudlin and unconvincing, despite the wealth of detail. Late in this story the perspective shifts sharply, and Frazier gives us confused young Samantha, a recovering drug addict who falls in love with Jeremy the tortured veteran. He rescues her, in a way, but then she also rescues him, as memories of the war become too overpowering to bear except in Samantha's precious company. This is by now quite a familiar tale, if still a sad and regrettable one, and Samantha's point of view as a noncombatant heroically reconstructing combat, and as a woman in love with a deeply troubled man, is often touching. Frazier's outrage that a life that had seemed so promising came to so little rings true. Uneven--but, in the end, both Samantha and Jeremy come through as compelling and real. A promising and unusual debut. -- Copyright 1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Battle wounds, physical and emotional, and American society's ingratitude to Vietnam veterans shape this tale narrated by the wife of a former Airborne Ranger. Upon first meeting Jeremy Fisher in Chicago, after he has left the service, Samantha comes to share the ongoing, nightmarish legacy of his combat experience--bitterness, discrimination, remorse over killings, the myriad effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and his terrible memories. In the first three quarters of the novel, Samantha tells of Jeremy's childhood in rural Mississippi with his African American farm family, which also claims Cherokee ancestry. She describes his enlistment, training, two tours in the jungles of Vietnam and his return to postwar America. The edge of hero worship in the tone is appropriate to Samantha's narrative voice, which is that of a sympathetic, loving wife who, in her caring devotions, becomes an heroic figure herself. Through Frazier's gentle lyricism--even in scenes of gruesome violence--this first novel takes on fablelike qualities as well. Generally avoiding the maudlin potential of her story, which lacks immediacy, Frazier engages and often moves her readers.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by George Braziller (1992)
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