The Perimeter of Light: Writings about the Vietnam War

Vivian V. Balfour, Editor, Vivian Vie Balfour, Editor, Lance Woodruff, Photographer New Rivers Press $16.95 (280p) ISBN 978-0-89823-140-3
This collection offers solid writing (culled from previous anthologies and literary magazines) as well as a variety of perspectives on the Vietnam War--civilian and military, past and present. In a powerful work of only four paragraphs, David Conolly describes a veteran whose recollection of a friend's death in battle causes him to belittle the similar loss of a noncombatant who doesn't have such images seared in his memory. In William Reichard's tale, the narrator remembers when he was an inquisitive five-year-old trying to make sense of his brother's sudden departure (``Are you getting married?'') and of his equally sudden return, silent and transformed, on crutches (``Did you forget how to walk?''). Danielle D'Ottavio Harned describes a Pan American stewardess who is discouraged with the ``sea of dour faces'' she accompanies on R&R flights and who gets a closer look at the war when she visits a military hospital. In Walter Howerton Jr.'s eloquent story, a young war resister who was rejected by his father spends his middle age in Vietnam vet rap sessions, trying to pass himself off as one of the guys, seeking to bridge distances of time, experience and sentiment that separate him from his father and his own past. Photos not seen by PW. Balfour is a freelance editor. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
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