“You carry who you are into war . . . and out of war.”
Coyote Jack overlays a fascinating exposition of life and death in the most enigmatic of American conflicts with an individual’s struggle to free himself from the real enemy that stands ready to thwart a full and authentic life. Through Jack, a former infantry lieutenant, we live in sandbag bunkers, bathe out of wells, and dodge booby traps as he learns the privations and landmines of his personal life are as complex as the clashing cultures and divisive politics that created, and ended, the war in Vietnam.
“Some of the best war-stories come along decades after the fighting is done. Those years between the fighting and the writing give a man time to reflect on what the war meant for him, both in terms of who he was before, and of who he was after. Coyote Jack tells three stories–of growing up with an abusive father, of going to war in Vietnam, and of returning to the scenes of the war years later; but they’re really one story, of one life’s conflicts and resolutions–the universal story of how a boy became a man in war.
This is a thoughtful, frank, honestly remembered book. I don’t know of any other Vietnam memoir that has got the gritty details of that grim war better, or has gone deeper into the self that experienced it.”
–Samuel Hynes, Professor of English, Emeritus, Princeton University, author of The Soldiers’ Tale
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