Synopses & Reviews
In the classic American tradition of subversive war narratives such as Catch-22
, a powerful new voice captures our attention with seven stories and a novella that take on the Gulf War with audacity, narrative brilliance, savage humor, and startling emotional resonance.
Dear Mr. President introduces a cast of conflicted characters whose efforts to cope with their experiences at war are both funny and tragic. In "The Cure as I Found It," an army infantryman who fought along the Highway of Death returns home with a form of Gulf War Syndrome and a great deal of guilt. He practices getting into Heaven through visualization. In the title story, "Dear Mr. President"-which was featured in The New Yorker's Debut Fiction issue of 2001-a Gulf War vet appeals to the first President Bush for help after his wife decides she has had enough. In "Cross-Dresser," a stealth fighter pilot in the neuropsych ward of a VA hospital begs to be re-
admitted to active duty, after justifying, with impeccable logic, his recent behavior. In "Notes from a Bunker Along Highway 8," a Green Beret assigned to the task of hunting SCUDs around Baghdad deserts his team after seeing a strange vision. He takes up residence with a fellow soldier in a deserted Iraqi bunker, where he proceeds to give medical aid to refugees, only to discover that being helpful is more complicated than he may have anticipated.
These electrifying stories illuminate in wholly unexpected ways the intimate experience of the Gulf War, a hallucinatory blink in the American consciousness. Dear Mr. President marks the debut of a sensational comic writer of fierce courage and originality.
From one of the brilliant newcomers featured in The New Yorker's Fiction Debut Writers of 2001 issue eight stories and a novella that take on the Gulf War with audacity, inventiveness, humor, and a startling emotional resonance.
About the Author
Gabe Hudson was a rifleman in the Marine reserves. He received his MFA from Brown University, where he won the 1999 John Hawkes Prize in Fiction. His stories have been published in The New Yorker, Black Book, McSweeney's, and several other publications. He lives in New York City and is at work on a novel.