RADIO // Conversations with WritersDave King
Hosted by Charles Ruas
Originally aired 4/25/05
Charles Ruas interviews artist Dave King on his first novel, The Ha-Ha, a critically acclaimed novel about a controversial subject very pertinent to a wartime culture. The protagonist, Howard, is a disabled Viet Nam vet whose injuries have a disastrous effect on his family and friends. The novel follows his painful progress through the years to rebuild a facsimile of a normal life. (As we write, the war in Iraq is creating tens of thousands of injured on all sides who are facing physical and social rehabilitation and are invisible to the media.) Howard's life takes a sudden turn when his former girlfriend has to go into rehab for her drug addiction and leaves him in charge of her nine-year-old son. His attempt to create a semblance of normalcy for the boy reveals the narrow focus of his existence. Gradually he is forced to build a life around the child and measure the distance between himself and the real world. A brave and powerful first novel on the toll of the aftermath of war.
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