Acceleration Hours: Stories
Jesse Goolsby University of Nevada Press, 2020 Library of Congress PS3607.O59254 | Dewey Decimal 813.01083581
2020 Reading the West Book Awards, Longlist for Fiction
2020 Foreword INDIE awards, longlist
From the author of the critically-acclaimed novel, I’d Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them, Jesse Goolsby’s Acceleration Hours is a haunting collection of narratives about families, life, and loss during America’s twenty-first-century forever wars. Set across the mountain west of the United States, these fierce, original, and compelling stories illuminate the personal search for human connection and intimacy. From a stepfather’s grief to an AWOL soldier and her journey of reconciliation to a meditation on children, violence, and hope, Acceleration Hours is an intense and necessary portrayal of the many voices living in a time of perpetual war.
Ellen Glasgow University of Alabama Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS3513.L34B36 2000 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
The Battle-Ground, Ellen Glasgow's fourth novel, was her first bestseller, with more than 21,000 copies sold in just two weeks. The novel committed her to a project almost unparalleled in American literary history: a novelistic meditation on the South from the decade before the Confederacy to the middle of the 20th century. The Battle-Ground speaks of a South before and during the Civil War in its struggles to become part of a nation still in the making. The overthrow of the aristocratic tradition, the transfer of hereditary power to a rural underclass, the continued disenfranchisement of African Americans, and the evolving status of women--these topics, which came to bind the more than a dozen volumes of Glasgow's self-styled "social history," initially coalesced in The Battle-Ground.
The Battle-Ground conspicuously departs from the tradition of Southern romances popularized by Thomas Nelson Page, and contemporary reviewers praised the book for its historical accuracy. Glasgow, an ardent Anglophile, bragged that military officers in Great Britain studied its descriptions of battle. With her, realism had not only crossed the Atlantic, it had "crossed the Potomac."
But Glasgow never sensationalizes the Civil War, whose bloodiest scenes she flanks with domestic officers, the sharing of rations, the warmth of camp, and reminders of home. Her vision of the war centers less on its corruption or barbarity than on its occasions for small decencies and their power of humanization. Glasgow cannot separate the war from its greater social implications--it is a place, as her title suggests, that tests the soul of a nation as well as individual men and women. The importance of The Battle-Ground in Southern literary history cannot be overemphasized, for Glasgow's reimagining of the Civil War had a profound impact on the next generation of Southern writers, including Allen Tate, Stark Young, and Margaret Mitchell.
Blue Hours: A Novel
Daphne Kalotay Northwestern University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3611.A455B58 2019 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
A mystery linking Manhattan circa 1991 to eastern Afghanistan in 2012, Blue Hours tells of a life-changing friendship between two memorable heroines. When we first meet Mim, she is a recent college graduate who has disavowed her lower middle class roots to befriend Kyra, a dancer and daughter of privilege, until calamity causes their estrangement. Twenty years later, Kyra has gone missing from her NGO’s headquarters in Jalalabad, and Mim—now a recluse in rural New England—embarks on a journey to find her. In its nuance, originality, and moral complexity, Blue Hours becomes an unexpected page-turner.
Eloquent and thought-provoking, this classic novel by the Eritrean novelist Gebreyesus Hailu, written in Tigrinya in 1927 and published in 1950, is one of the earliest novels written in an African language and will have a major impact on the reception and critical appraisal of African literature.
The Conscript depicts, with irony and controlled anger, the staggering experiences of the Eritrean ascari, soldiers conscripted to fight in Libya by the Italian colonial army against the nationalist Libyan forces fighting for their freedom from Italy’s colonial rule. Anticipating midcentury thinkers Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire, Hailu paints a devastating portrait of Italian colonialism. Some of the most poignant passages of the novel include the awakening of the novel’s hero, Tuquabo, to his ironic predicament of being both under colonial rule and the instrument of suppressing the colonized Libyans.
The novel’s remarkable descriptions of the battlefield awe the reader with mesmerizing images, both disturbing and tender, of the Libyan landscape—with its vast desert sands, oases, horsemen, foot soldiers, and the brutalities of war—uncannily recalled in the satellite images that were brought to the homes of millions of viewers around the globe in 2011, during the country’s uprising against its former leader, Colonel Gaddafi.
Corner of the Dead
Lynn Lurie University of Massachusetts Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS3612.U774C67 2008 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
This powerful novel depicts the reign of violence perpetrated in Peru in the 1980s by the Shining Path guerrillas, a Maoist-based organization, and the subsequent authoritarian counterattack by the Peruvian government. It explores these horrific events through the eyes of a young American photojournalist and humanitarian worker, Lisette, who bears witness to the genocide of the Peruvian Indians in whose village she has chosen to live.
"I use the camera to block my view," says Lisette. This is the start of her double vision—trying to forget and trying to recall—and her struggle to come to terms with the human capacity for cruelty. But the grim reality in Peru is so overpowering that she carries it with her back to New York and through the rest of her life. Having abandoned a lover along with the fight, she desperately tries to find meaning beyond that of mere survival.
Desert Mementos is a collection of loosely connected short stories set during the early stages of the Iraq War (2004 and 2005). The stories rotate from battles with insurgents and the drudgery of the war machine in Iraq to Nevada, where characters are either preparing for war, escaping it during their leave, or returning home having seen what they’ve seen.
Cage captures similarities in the respective desert landscapes of both Iraq and Nevada, but it is not just a study in contrasting landscapes. The inter-connected stories explore similarities and differences in human needs from the perspectives of vastly different cultures. Specifically, the stories deftly capture the overlap in the respective desert landscapes of each region, the contrasting cultures and worldviews, and the common need for hope. Taken together, the stories represent the arc of a year-long deployment by young soldiers. Cage’s stories are bound together by the soldier’s searing experiences in the desert, bookended by leaving and returning home to Nevada, which in many ways can be just as disorienting as patrolling the Iraq desert.
An adoring young woman encounters Adolph Hitler when her youth group sings for him. He demands her company in private, and she becomes pregnant, bearing his child but never being contacted by Hitler again. The plot follows her life as an outcast believed to be lying about the child’s parentage, and the life of her son told through her correspondence, diary entries, and from the point of view of a researcher who writes a generation later. Based on facts and documented history, author Ron Merten tells this tale with just enough creativity to make the story fascinating.
At the height of the Nazi extermination campaign in the Warsaw Ghetto, a young Jewish woman, Irena, seeks the protection of her former lover, a young architect, Jan Malecki. By taking her in, he puts his own life and the safety of his family at risk. Over a four-day period, Tuesday through Friday of Holy Week 1943, as Irena becomes increasingly traumatized by her situation, Malecki questions his decision to shelter Irena in the apartment where Malecki, his pregnant wife, and his younger brother reside. Added to his dilemma is the broader context of Poles’ attitudes toward the “Jewish question” and the plight of the Jews locked in the ghetto during the final moments of its existence.
Few fictional works dealing with the war have been written so close in time to the events that inspired them. No other Polish novel treats the range of Polish attitudes toward the Jews with such unflinching honesty.
Jerzy Andrzejewski's Holy Week (Wielki Tydzien, 1945), one of the significant literary works to be published immediately following the Second World War, now appears in English for the first time.
This translation of Andrzejewski’s Holy Week began as a group project in an advanced Polish language course at the University of Pittsburgh. Class members Daniel M. Pennell, Anna M. Poukish, and Matthew J. Russin contributed to the translation; the instructor, Oscar E. Swan, was responsible for the overall accuracy and stylistic unity of the translation as well as for the biographical and critical notes and essays.
Geoffrey Frost, American sea captain and veteran of the China Trade, and Ming Tsun, his enigmatic mute friend, return in this latest installment of the highly literate and compelling saga of the American struggle for independence at sea. After a clash against well-armed British warships, Frost’s ship, the privateer Audacity, must be laid up for repairs. Frost, however, is not the kind of man to sit idle for long, and when a new secret weapon invented by David Bushnell comes to light, he recognizes a rare opportunity to strike hard at the complacent English. Commanding the prototype submarine Narwhal, Frost and the freed slave Darius set out to bring terror from below, all the while narrowly avoiding sinking and certain death in the cast iron tomb. J. E. Fender proves in this harrowing novel of power and suspense why he is quickly distinguishing himself as one of the eminent voices of American historical fiction.
The Salt Lake City Tribune has called Lee Barnes “one of the finest writers of short stories in the contemporary West.” Minimal Damage contains seven stories and a novella that depict veterans of several wars in search of dignity and purpose in a civilian life that has no need for men who were soldiers. With emotion, humor, and clarity, Barnes creates characters who show us what it is to live with the trauma of having experienced combat. The fractured souls and twisted lives of these men remind us that war’s ultimate damage extends far beyond the battlefield.
James Jones University of Chicago Press, 2003
As bombs begin to fall on Pearl Harbor, nineteen-year-old PFC Richard Mask is wearing a pistol, a .45 caliber automatic that makes him feel connected to the army of the Wild West and Custer's Cavalry. In the chaos of his first days and weeks of the war, as Mask and his company move from Schofield Barracks to the beaches of Oahu, then to a remote mountain pass, a struggle over the pistol dominates this novella's action, providing the pathos and savagery of the story.
The first English-language translation of a classic Czech antiwar novel written in the wake of WWI.
Originally published in 1925, Plowshares into Swords is an expressionist antiwar novel in which Vladislav Vančura tells the story of the denizens of the Ouhrov estate in language as baroque as the manor that ties them all together. The fragmented narrative introduces the reader to such characters as Baron Danowitz, his sons, his French concubine, the farmhand František Hora, and the mentally disabled murderer Řeka in the autumn of 1913, before revealing their fates during World War I. Ranging from the peaceful farmlands of Bohemia to the battlefields of Galicia, taking in the pubs of Budapest and the hospitals of Krakow, the novel constitutes an unsentimental and naturalistic approach to the war that created Czechoslovakia. Plowshares into Swords is a stunning novel by one of Czech literature’s most important writers. This modernist masterpiece, reminiscent of the work of Isaac Babel and William Faulkner, is now available in English for the very first time.
A masterwork of World War I short stories portraying the experiences of Marines in battle.
Points of Honor: Short Stories of the Great War by a US Combat Marine is based on author Thomas Alexander Boyd’s personal experiences as an enlisted Marine. First published in 1925 and long out of print, this edition rescues from obscurity a vivid, kaleidoscopic vision of American soldiers, US Marines mostly, serving in a global conflict a century ago. It is a true forgotten masterpiece of World War I literature.
The stories in Points of Honor deal almost entirely with Marines in the midst of battle—or faced with the consequences of military violence. The eleven stories in this collection offer a panoramic view of war experience and its aftermath, what Boyd described as “a mass of more human happenings.” The themes are often antiheroic: dehumanization, pettiness, betrayal by loved ones at home, and the cruelty of military justice. But Boyd’s vision also accommodates courage and loyalty. Like all great works of war literature, this collection underscores the central paradox of armed conflict—its ability to bring out both the best and worst in human beings.
This reissue of Points of Honor is edited, annotated, and introduced by Steven Trout. Trout provides an overview of Thomas Boyd’s war experience and writing career and situates the stories within the broader context of World War I American literature.
Points of Honor received strong reviews at the time of its initial publication and remains an overwhelming reading experience today. While each of the stories is a freestanding work of art, when read together they carry the force of a novel.
A Stricken Field: A Novel
Martha Gellhorn University of Chicago Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3513.E46S87 2011 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
Martha Gellhorn was one of the first—and most widely read—female war correspondents of the twentieth century. She is best known for her fearless reporting in Europe before and during WWII and for her brief marriage to Ernest Hemingway, but she was also an acclaimed novelist.
In 1938, before the Munich pact, Gellhorn visited Prague and witnessed its transformation from a proud democracy preparing to battle Hitler to a country occupied by the German army. Born out of this experience, A Stricken Field follows a journalist who returns to Prague after its annexation and finds her efforts to obtain help for the refugees and to convey the shocking state of the country both frustrating and futile. A convincing account of a people under the brutal oppression of the Gestapo, A Stricken Field is Gellhorn’s most powerful work of fiction.
“[A] brave, final novel. Its writing is quick with movement and with sympathy; its people alive with death, if one can put it that way. It leaves one with aching heart and questing mind.”—New York Herald Tribune
“The translation of [Gellhorn’s] personal testimony into the form of a novel has . . . force and point.”—Times Literary Supplement
Thomas Wolfe's Civil War
Thomas Wolfe University of Alabama Press, 2004 Library of Congress PS3545.O337A6 2004 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
An anthology of Thomas Wolfe’s short stories, novel excerpts, and plays illuminating the Civil War.
This collection of Thomas Wolfe’s writings demonstrates the centrality of the Civil War to Wolfe’s literary concerns and identity. From Look Homeward, Angel to The Hill Beyond and The Web and the Rock, Wolfe perpetually returned to the themes of loss, dissolution, sorrow, and romance engendered in the minds of many southerners by the Civil War and its lingering aftermath. His characters reflect time and again on Civil War heroes and dwell on ghostlike memories handed down by their mothers, fathers, and grandfathers. Wolfe and his protagonists compare their contemporary southern landscape to visions they have conjured of its appearance before and during the war, thereby merging the past with the present in an intense way. Ultimately, Wolfe’s prose style—incantatory and rhapsodic—is designed to evoke the national tragedy on an emotional level.
Selections of Wolfe’s writings in this collection include short stories ("Chickamauga," "Four Lost Men," "The Plumed Knight"), excerpts from his novels (O Lost, the restored version of Look Homeward, Angel, The Hills Beyond, and Of Time and the River) and a play, Mannerhouse, edited and introduced by David Madden. Madden, who makes the provocative claim that everything a southern writer writes derives from the Civil War experience, also highlights many issues essential to understanding Wolfe’s absorption with the Civil War.
Robert L. Shuster New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2021
To Zenzi is the extraordinary story of Tobias Koertig’s odyssey through the apocalypse of Berlin in 1945. An orphaned thirteen-year-old who loves to draw, Tobias is coerced into joining the German youth army in the last desperate weeks of the war. Mistaken for a hero on the Eastern Front, he receives an Iron Cross from Hitler himself, who discovers the boy’s cartoons and appoints Tobias to sketch pictures of the ruined city.
Shuttling between the insanity of the Führer’s bunker and the chaotic streets, Tobias must contend with a scheming Martin Bormann, a deceitful deserter, the Russian onslaught, and his own compounding despair—all while falling for Zenzi, a girl of Jewish descent (a mischling) who relays secret news of death camps and convinces Tobias to make a treacherous escape to the Americans.
With thrilling risks in plotting and prose, with moments of pathos and absurdity, Shuster richly conjures a mad, tragic world.
Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa first published Ualalapi: Fragments from the End of Empire in Portuguese in 1987. Named one of Africa's hundred best books of the twentieth century, it reflects on Mozambique's past and present through interconnected narratives related to the last ruler of the Gaza Empire, Ngungunhane. Defeated by the Portuguese in 1895, Ngungunhane was reclaimed for propaganda purposes by Mozambique's post-independence government as a national and nationalist hero. The regime celebrated his resistance to the colonial occupation of southern Mozambique as a precursor to the twentieth-century struggle for independence. In Ualalapi, Ungulani challenges that ideological celebration and portrays Ngungunhane as a despot, highlighting the violence and tyranny that were hallmarks of the Gaza Empire. This fresh look at the history of late nineteenth-century southeast Africa provides a prism through which to examine the machinations of those in power in Mozambique during the 1980s.
Williwaw: A Novel
Gore Vidal University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3543.I26W5 2003 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
A gripping tale of men struggling against nature and themselves, Williwaw was Gore Vidal's first novel, written at nineteen when he was first mate of the U.S. Army freight supply ship stationed in the Aleutian Islands. Here he writes of a ship caught plying the lethal, frigid Arctic waters during storm season. Tensions run high among the edgy crew and uneasy passengers even before the cruel wind that gives the book its title suddenly sweeps down from the mountains. Vividly drawn characters and a compelling murder plot combine to make Williwaw a classic war novel.
John Smolens Michigan State University Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3569.M646W65 2016 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
In 1944 Italian officer Captain Francesco Verdi is captured by Allied forces in North Africa and shipped to a POW camp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where the senior POW, the ruthless Kommandant Vogel, demands that all prisoners adhere to his Nazi dictates. His life threatened, Verdi escapes from the camp and meets up with an American woman, Chiara Frangiapani, who helps him elude capture as they flee to the Lower Peninsula. By 1956 they have become Frank and Claire Green, a young married couple building a new life in postwar Detroit. When INS agent James Giannopoulos tracks them down, Frank learns that Vogel is executing men like Frank for their wartime transgressions. As a series of brutal murders rivets Detroit, Frank is caught between American justice and Nazi vengeance. In Wolf ’s Mouth, the recollections of Francesco Verdi/Frank Green give voice to the hopes, fears, and hard choices of a survivor as he strives to escape the ghosts of history.
The Young Lions
Irwin Shaw University of Chicago Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS3537.H384Y6 2000 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
The Young Lions is a vivid and classic novel that portrays the experiences of ordinary soldiers fighting World War II. Told from the points of view of a perceptive young Nazi, a jaded American film producer, and a shy Jewish boy just married to the love of his life, Shaw conveys, as no other novelist has since, the scope, confusion, and complexity of war.