A Kind of Redemption: Stories

Stephen Hathaway, Author Louisiana State University Press $17.95 (110p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1611-1
Kicked out of the Peace Corps for horsing around, Timothy Grote ends up an Army translator in Vietnam. As the noncommittal, skeptical protagonist of many of the wise, compassionate stories in this remarkable debut collection, Grote lets readers catch sight of the war's garish unreality and utter futility. In the last three stories, set about 20 years after his Vietnam experience, we find beer-guzzling Grote dissipated, plagued by nightmares, destroying his marriage, then finally pulling himself together as a college professor and coming to terms with the psychic scars inflicted by his tour of duty. Offering astringent, totally unsentimental views of war, some of these stories explore anti-Semitism and racism in the ranks; others deal with conflicts between sons and their fathers who served in WW II; one or two extract macabre humor from war's irrationality. Hathaway's understated, razor-sharp style comes as a breath of fresh air. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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