Alice K Boatwright Collateral Damage

ISBN 13: 9780983617242

Collateral Damage

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9780983617242: Collateral Damage

Fiction. In these three linked novellas, Boatwright explores the lasting effects of the Vietnam War on people living in its shadow—both those who fought and those who didn't. These moving stories from one of American history's most divisive eras show us Vietnam may not be as far behind us as we think. Who goes to war and why—and the consequences for them and the people who love them—are issues that we still face today.

"These are engrossing stories told with considerable artistry, full of recognition and sympathy."—Diane Johnson

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From the Author:

About this book
The impetus to write this book goes back to a snowy day in 1968, when I received a letter from one of my high school friends telling me that he had attempted suicide rather than go to Vietnam. I was shocked and, at the same time, not shocked. My older brother had just been sent to fight in the war. My younger brother was worried about the draft. All the young men I knew were struggling with how to handle the first big decision of their adult lives--and it was a very big one--whether to follow the dictates of law or conscience and to face the consequences either way. We young women--their sisters, friends, and lovers--were on the sidelines of this moral conflict, but we were also deeply touched by it, and all of our lives were shaped by it.

I wrote the first version of "Getting Out" when I was a graduate student at Columbia University in 1970. At that time, the wars in South-East Asia and at home were raging, and young people were dying on both fronts. The second and third sections, set at key points in the post-war years, began as short stories. The idea of a "triptych" came about when a friend asked me what I wanted to write next, and I realized it was this book about the broad and lasting impact of the war.

Although the draft ended in the U.S. in 1973, each new war brings up the same questions: what is justified and when, who will fight and why, and will any good come out of it in the end?

Alice K. Boatwright
Paris, France
January 2012

From the Back Cover:

In these three linked novellas, Boatwright explores the lasting effects of the Vietnam War on people living in its shadow -- both those who found and those who didn't. These moving stories from one of American history's most divisive eras show us that Vietnam may not be as far behind us as we think. Who goes to war and why -- and the consequences for them and the people who love them -- are issues that we still face today.

1968: Getting Out
: When Toby Woodruff is drafted, he tries to find a middle ground between "going in" and "getting out" of the war and nearly loses his life.

1982: If I Should Stay: A Thanksgiving celebration brings out the tensions in the Percy family as they are try to put the 1960s and the war behind them.

1993: Leaving Vietnam: When Vietnam begins to reopen to the West, Sarah Shepherd has a chance to see the world as her brother Walter last glimpsed it.

FINALIST FOR THE FLANNERY O'CONNOR AWARD FOR SHORT FICTION

WINNER, 2013 BRONZE MEDAL FOR LITERARY FICTION, INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER BOOK AWARDS

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Alice K Boatwright
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