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Stan Washburn is a painter, printmaker, and, more recently, a writer. His art is in the collections of the Achenbach Foundation, the Brooklyn Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Portland Art Museum, among others. His work is low-concept—images of things he sees or wishes he could see around him—and inclines to the whimsical and mildly absurd. His writing, a more recent vocation, is similarly based on experience and sympathetic observation.
on Aug. 14, 2015 :
The American War is a wicked satire of Vietnam and no character escapes Stan Washburn’s scrutiny—not the novel’s young protagonists Nora and Eddie, nor their patriotic parents, nor the hippie professors at Bancroft University, and certainly not the various sergeants, lieutenants, and corporals of the U.S. Army who populate these pages. Not even the innocent residents of a Vietnamese village are completely exempt from Washburn’s biting wit.
What mitigates the irony is the surprisingly sweet love story that lies at the heart of the novel. The American War traces Eddie and Nora’s relationship from high school all the way through to Eddie’s time in Vietnam and Nora’s in college. You can’t help but root for this appealing, if hapless, young couple. I won’t, of course, say what happens to them—for that, you’ll have to read the novel. I promise you, it’s well worth it!
(reviewed the day of purchase)