Black Glasses Like Clark Kent: A GI's Secret from Postwar by Terese Svoboda

By Terese Svoboda

After her Uncle's suicide, Terese Svoboda investigates his beautiful declare that MPs can have carried out their very own males throughout the profession of Japan after international conflict II

[Our captain] recommended us for being sturdy squaddies and doing our task good and having at least difficulties. Then he dropped a bomb. He acknowledged the felony used to be getting overcrowded, extraordinarily overcrowded.

As a toddler Terese Svoboda considered her uncle as Superman, with "Black Clark Kent glasses, grapefruit-sized biceps." At 80, he may possibly nonetheless boast a washboard belly, yet in March 2004, he turned heavily depressed. Svoboda investigates his terrifying tale of what occurred in the course of his time as an MP, interviewing dozens of aged ex-GIs and vacationing Japan to attempt to find the truth.

In Black Glasses Like Clark Kent, winner of the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, Svoboda deals a remarkable and punctiliously wrought own account of a regularly painful look for details. She intersperses excerpts of her uncle's recordings and letters to his spouse along with her personal examine, and exhibits how the vagaries of army justice can let the worst to take place after which be buried via time and protocol

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Sample text

I finished the bottle—and the thesis—off at five Monday morning. I fell asleep on the couch. Rhonda quietly got the Getting Here boys up and hushed them off to school, where she worked as a teaching assistant. Almost noon I woke up to find the empty bottle of Bacardi tucked in beside me on the couch. I wrenched it out with a little too much force and it flung past me to shatter on the floor. Shit. Shards everywhere. I rushed to pick them up, cutting my feet in the dash to the kitchen for the dustpan.

Whenever we get rollin’ on the booze, Todd retreats to the basement. I swing open the front door to get a breath of the cool, crisp fall air. How long since Dana left? I have no idea. Several plates littered with shards of burnt toast and hardened egg yolk ring my bed. I need a drink. I slink down the stairs into Todd’s tiny windowless, airless bedroom. I tiptoe my way through piles of stale, dirty laundry. I leave the light off—don’t want to alert him to my presence. I hear him laugh at the TV.

All of which is my way of saying I learned early the importance of perseverance and determination, of sticking up for myself. “Bitesize. Shorty. Half-a-Man. Little Fella. ” The nicknames stuck, said now with warmth and respect, the sting gone. I fashion us all fishing rods out of willow branches and some old line and hooks I find in a broom closet by the wood stove. The fire in the stove sputters and hisses. “Michael, Michael, take us down to fish,” my little sisters beg. I turn the little cottage upside down, but there is no bait to be found, and no shovel to dig for worms.

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