Friday, February 22, 2013
Guest Post and Giveaway: Frank Nappi, Author of Echoes of the Infantry
Echoes From The Infantry is the tale of one Long Island World War II veteran, the misery of combat, and the powerful emotional bonds that brought him home to Rockaway Beach and the love of his life, Madeline Brandt. It is about a father and son, and their ultimately redeeming struggle to understand each other's worlds - one a world at war, the other shaped by its veterans. Nappi moves artfully between the present and past, weaving a fictionalized tale of this Long Islander's struggle to reconcile with the demons from long ago and his family's neverending battle with many of the intangible burdens caused by the private life of a man they never really knew. He touches our hearts with a story of courage and perseverance...a story of men who faced the greatest challenge of their generation.
Read Chapter One at http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/304983-excerpt-from-echoes-from-the-infantry
Echoes From The Infantry was inspired by my fascination with the WWII period and a very special relationship forged between me and and two WWII veterans, Mr. Bill McGinn and Mr. Eddie Hynes, both of the 95th Infantry Division of the United States Army. Some years ago, as a way of enhancing my students' understanding of WWII and the haunting experiences that many soldiers had, I invited Mr. McGinn and Mr. Hynes to my classroom to share their insights with my classes. It was and still is the most rewarding moment I have ever had as a teacher.
I watched and listened as these two men captivated a room full of 16-year-old students with their poignant reminiscences of their time in war-torn Europe, as well as the daunting specter of returning home, to family, friends and communities that just did not understand the unrelenting, insidious vitality of the war's residue. So many of our young men who fought valiantly in both Europe and Japan returned home damaged; true, they managed to elude the cold hand of death, and in many cases came back unscathed physically, yet they were damaged just the same; they remained mired in the cloud of combat for the rest of their lives. The atrocities they were forced to witness and engage in became indelible snapshots that infiltrated every facet of their lives. Everywhere they looked they saw the ruin, and the senseless violence. And when they closed their eyes, it was worse. There was no rest from the "echoes from the infantry." Many of these men who made up our nation's "greatest generation" found it very difficult to function in the conventional sense, although they tried. However, it was an impossible task for many, and their family lives, as well as their professional existences, suffered because of their previous lives on the battlefield.
Mr. McGinn and Mr. Hynes passed away after visiting my classroom for 10 consecutive years. It was a devastating loss for me that I still feel to this day. Both men became very dear friends of mine and shared things with me that they never thought they would ever tell anyone else. My most treasured possessions include countless letters from both men, and some videotape of their stirring presentations that influenced not only me but countless numbers of students.
As a tribute to both men, and to all of the WWII soldiers who suffered quietly from PTSD after the war, I wrote Echoes From The Infantry. The novel, which is an amalgam of both fact and fiction, is the tale of one Long Island World War II veteran, the misery of combat, and the powerful emotional bonds that brought him home to Rockaway Beach and the love of his life, Madeline Brandt. It is about a father and son, and their ultimately redeeming struggle to understand each other's worlds - one a world at war, the other shaped by its veterans. It is a fictionalized tale of this Long Islander's struggle to reconcile with the demons from long ago and his family's neverending battle with many of the intangible burdens caused by the private life of a man they never really knew. It is also a story of courage and perseverance...a story of men who faced the greatest challenge of their generation.
Price/Format: $3.99, ebook
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release: October 13, 2005
Kindle buy link ($3.99):
Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, Echoes From The Infantry, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Frank continues to produce quality work, including Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story and the just released thriller, Nobody Has to Know, which received an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille. Frank is presently at work on a third installment of his Mickey Tussler series and his next thriller. He lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.
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