Adirondack Summer, 1969

Alan Robert Proctor’s historical novel, Adirondack Summer, 1969, is now available from the author, Westphalia Press, Amazon or Kindle.

For nearly two decades, Deidre Cravitz has managed a fine arts summer camp for creative children in the heart of upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains. As the 1969 summer camp season approaches, however, Deidre dies in a car accident. Grief stricken, her husband, Myron, can’t bring himself to cancel his wife’s summer passion despite his ignorance of camp supervision and the impending arrival of 80 children. Set during the height of the Vietnam War, the moon landing and racial tensions, Adirondack Summer, 1969 is a tale of obsession and its consequences: love found, love lost, lust, revenge, homicide and renewal. 

Advance Praise includes: 

“I’m a big believer in good first lines to novels, and Alan Proctor grabs you from the first sentence.” Frank Higgins, playwright, author of Black Pearl Sings.

“…It’s a poignant, playful, intensely imagined book, written with grace and good humor and the kind of sentences all writers ache to produce. Highly recommended…” Brian Shawver, author of Aftermath and The Language of Fiction.

“This jewel of a novel…reminds readers of the vulnerability and gifts of summer… I fell right into the the characters, the setting and the drama…” Denise Low, 2007-2009 Poet Laureate of Kansas, author of Melange Block and Jackalope.

“Alan Proctor’s Adirondack Summer, 1969, is a meditation on grief and loss, told with the verve of a John Irving novel. Proctor’s vivid sense of place makes the novel’s setting – an arts camp in the Adirondacks – a character in its own right. His cast, led by Deidre and Myron Cravitz, weave a gorgeous, often comic, tapestry of their delusions, loves and dreams. Any reader booking a cabin at Camp Cravitz should prepare to be moved and entertained.” Whitney Terrell, author of The Good Lieutenant. 

“I’ve always wanted to visit the Adirondacks in summer, to listen to the loons on a glacial lake, and after my death, to eavesdrop on my spouse. This is Adirondack Summer, 1969, a smartly written page-turner of a novel…” Al Ortolani, Manuscript Editor, Woodley Press

“A modern-day fairy tale… In Alan Robert Proctor’s sensitive hands, we can smell the pines, the lake water, the camp food and the pheromones while an ethereal omniscience observes a theatrical cast of characters who’ve brought their own demons to the iconic American idyll of summer camp…” C.J. Janovy, author of No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas

“Welcome to Camp Cravitz… A strong sense of story keeps readers turning pages as compelling characters – campers, staff, and the spirit of the director’s dead wife – deal with life-changing events during the camp’s last season.” Mary-Lane Kamberg, co-leader of the Kansas City Writers Group

“In remarkable story form, Alan Proctor captures (unobtrusively) the uncertainties of 1969, pivotal year of war and collective grief over assassinations and political upheavals. …In a style reminiscent of John Updike, the author employs a unique setting, unique narration, and a protagonist (Myron) whose goals appear to exceed his means of reaching them…” Norm Ledgin, author of Diagnosing Jefferson and Sally of Monticello: Founding Mother

“An America that we offspring of the Sixties lost to adulthood and the 21st century returns to vivid life in Adirondack Summer, 1969… Alan Proctor has crafted a book that beautifully recalls who we were then.”Michael Pritchett, author of The Melancholy Fate of Captain Lewis, Unbridled Books

“…Set in the late 1960s – a backdrop of the Vietnam War, and the moon walk – the novel offers a ghostly narrator and a host of interesting characters, both sympathetic and foul… Proctor has a gift for drawing a scene… A good, entertaining, fast-paced read.” Catherine Browder, author of “Now We Can All Go Home,” 3 novellas in homage to Checkhov

AS1969 Best Cover copy

The Sweden File: Memoir of an American Expatriate

Available from Open Books Press,

The Sweden File: Memoir of an American Expatriate, Second Edition

Sweden File New Cover

Chosen by the Kansas City Star as one (out of 12) of the best memoirs of 2015!

Featured on KKFI 90.1 FM—listen to the segment HERE.

Reviewed by Kirkussee review here

Purchase HERE

 

What leads a top-secret war-policy insider to desert during the Vietnam War? In the case of Bruce Proctor, it was reconnaissance photos: images which showed the bombing of civilian villages in Southeast Asia, despite the administration’s claims otherwise. Appalled by his discovery, Bruce suddenly quit his job at the Defense Intelligence Agency. To avoid the draft, he joined the Air National Guard, but his unit was activated for service in Vietnam. Rather than fight in an immoral war, Bruce went AWOL, seeking refuge in Sweden.

A hybrid memoir set against a half century across two continents, The Sweden File is composed of letters to and from Bruce from 1968 to 1972, his reminiscences forty years later, and his brother Alan’s reflections in 2014. Despite his best attempts, Bruce was never able to learn Swedish, necessary for employment, and he struggled with poverty, a series of difficult jobs, drugs, and alcohol. After four years of trying to fit into a foreign culture, Bruce and his wife emigrated to Canada. At a time when the US has been in constant conflict for eighteen years—longer than the Vietnam War—Bruce’s musings on peace, war, and government deception have a vital urgency.

Alan & BruceCompiled and edited with reflections by Alan Robert Proctor: Alanrobertproctor.wordpress.com

The Sweden File: Memoir of an American Expatriate is available from Westphalia Press (Westphaliapress.org) or from Amazon. Discounted copies will be available from Mr. Proctor after personal appearances or readings.
Alan Proctor (on left), Bruce Proctor (on right)

What people are saying…

“I guess more than anything else about this book, and I like many things about it, is the unwavering truth – the unblinking truth the author takes on his journey. It’s rare. There are no literary awards or grandstanding, mind-numbing self-acclamation here, only human beings striving to undo the sorrow of war the best they can. [As a teacher,] I surely would recommend this book to all high school kids, they [sadly] need…to understand [this] aspect of American history neglected and subverted by politicos, often twisting the truth until it’s nothing more than dishrag repugnant with the stench of death. No, in some beautiful way this book is a celebration of the heart’s love of life and truth. Bravo.” – Jimmy Santiago Baca

Mr. Baca is the author of over a dozen books of poetry, as well as essays, memoirs, stories and a screen play which was made into a feature length film (Bound by Honor, 1993). Baca received the American Book Award for Poetry in 1989. He is also a Pushcart winner and the recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature.

 “…This book, with its counterpointed perspectives, intimate epistolary narratives, and later commentary, bridges distances of time and place, bringing into focus years when few were spared the grief and sacrifices of a nation led into a distant war that should never have been born….” – David Ray

 Poet and essayist, David Ray, is the author of 24 books, the founding editor of New Letters Magazine and—among other honors—has twice won the William Carlos Williams Award, and also the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award.

“Most of us will never find ourselves in a situation in which doing what’s morally right is a serious threat to our well-being. The Sweden File is a book about someone who faced such a situation and made the life-rending choice. It’s an account of a quiet, sustained heroism.” – William Trowbridge

 William Trowbridge has authored four books of poetry, three chapbooks and was the Missouri Poet Laureate from 2012 – 2014. Honors include the Academy of American Poets Prize, and a Pushcart Prize among many other awards. Trowbridge is a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Northwestern Missouri State University.

 

“Striking Bone” – an American Renga

A renga is a five-line poem–haiku of 3 lines + 2 line couplet. Japanese has a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count for the five lines. American English varies this with some liberties, as shown below. The poem then is passed to the next person (sake is included in the traditional Japanese setting but not here), who composes a poem that responds to previous verse (word, sound, image, or idea). And then the poem is passed to the next writer, to build a  conversation. In this renga, seven poets participate: Denise Low, Ken Eberhart, Barbara Montes, GeneAnn Newcomer, Diane Willie, Erika Zeitz, and Alan Proctor.

Read it HERE on Denise Low’s blog.