A picaresque novel following a young soldier entering and surviving the Vietnam War
There It Is by Ken Harper is a quintessential American coming-of-age novel in the vein of Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March
Young Farragut Birdwell enlists in the army during the later years of the Vietnam War. He is the black sheep of his family; his dad is a decorated submarine officer from WWII and does not have much confidence in his young son. Farragut's attempts to fit in are often both humorous and heart-wrenching, from the opening story of how he fakes being a boxer to escape the dreaded cleaning duty as a grunt to his catch-22 escape from joining the 101st Airborne Division when he lands in Vietnam. Farragut is very clever and funny, but at other times he really messes up. But meeting the beautiful Yarel sweetens him.
This first novel by Ken Harper is an entertaining and compelling story about integrity, survival, and courage.
Ken Harper was a freelance journalist for The Des Moines Register, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and In These Times. Ken Harper attended The Iowa Writers Workshop in 1982. His short stories were published in In These Times and The Kenyon Review. From 1990 to 2018 Ken Harper was the director of marketing for several large corporations within the computer industry. His children's story, The Spaceman From The Planet Omelet, was published in 2019. His novel Big Shorty will be published in 2021.