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Title | Author | Content Sample

  • Item# PPL
  • ISBN13: 978-0-942679-27-4
  • ISBN: 0-942679-27-X
  • Copyright 2003
  • 233 pp.
  • 0.88lb
  • Form: Paperback, Trade paperback (US)
  • Price: $12.95
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Purple Sun

By Lawrence McAuliffe

Upper Access had never published a work of fiction before, but when we read this manuscript, we couldn't resist it. It's one of those powerful stories that you can't put down, and people who read it love to debate with each other about what it all means. If you have a book discussion group, Purple Sun is a perfect selection.

The story begins in 1968 in Vietnam. Master Sergeant Isaiah Ross and Lt. Patric Gallo don't have much in common, but they share mutual concern about a twice-wounded young soldier who, they suspect, abandoned his unit while under enemy fire one night in Vietnam. Is it possible that the young man, whose name was Billy Kern, could still be alive?

After returning to civilian life, Ross and Gallo keep in touch for the next 30 years, finally deciding they must return to Vietnam to find out what really happened to Billy Kern. Their guide, Truong, is a former Viet Cong soldier who carries his own scars and memories. Their journey takes them to the Monastery of the Purple Sun, then back around the world to the mountains of Wyoming, where a small-town newspaper editor becomes entangled in the mystery. The plot takes as many twists and turns as the mountainous trails, with a surprise outcome.

What People are Saying

"A hell of a good book!"
Alan Lupo, Columnist for the Boston Globe

Purple Sun is a thoroughly captivating saga, one of those reads which are so easy to pick up and so hard to set down."
Midwest Book Review, August, 2003

"From the same time period [as other reviewed titles] comes Purple Sun by Lawrence McAuliffe. The author is a disabled veteran from injuries suffered while serving as a chaplain in Vietnam. He explores the issues of life, death, war, peace and heroism, themes as relevant today as then. This book is well worth reading, not just for its story, but for its spiritual message as well."
Alan Caruba, Bookviews.Com, August, 2003

"The enduring antagonism between two men who served in Vietnam, one a black career Sergeant from the deep South, the other a young Lieutenant drafted and indifferent, even disdainful of the military, is drawn with harsh integrity, and their voices will stay with me.

"How to deal with mortality is an infinitely important theme, which McAuliffe stitches together admirably in the concrete lives of these memorable characters and their emotional and moral struggle with each other and with themselves. The confrontation of unlike religions and philosophies that for the most part abhor each other, although coming from different directions can sincerely converge on the value of life.

"McAuliffe portrays a young deeply religious Marine who, after months of combat, intentionally shoots to death an old Buddhist monk chanting prayers in the ruins of Hue in 1968. The enduring aftermath—what drives the Sergeant and Lieutenant to return together to Vietnam 28 years later—is wonderfully, mysteriously, and believably portrayed, and builds tension to its final unexpected consummation. This is an enriching book, one that nourishes a reader."
Jonathan Shay, MD, PhD, author of "Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character," and "Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Coming Home" (both published by Scribner)

"Purple Sun is a gripping tale that portrays on the deepest human level the enduring influence of the Vietnam experience—an experience that still challenges so many Americans on what the heart of our nation is in spirit, and should continually strive to be."
Dr. James Reckner, Director of the Vietnam Archives, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas


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