J. Everett Prewitt
In the novella, Something About Ann, and the short stories that follow, a group of soldiers who faced a traumatic experience in Vietnam remain close after returning to the States. Violence and turmoil continue to haunt them, though, as they attempt to normalize their lives. Sometimes relying on the help of each other, sometimes relying on the skills they’ve gained in combat, most prevail.In the novella, Something About Ann, Clarence Bankston, a black Vietnam veteran, and Ann Minh, a Vietnamese woman fall in love. The peace of mind each seeks eludes them, however, as their pasts unfold.In the story, Lucky, a veteran, Raphael “Lucky” Holland, finds his niche as a stick-up artist. His luck runs out when he tries to rob a stranger whose past is darker than Holland’s. Xavier Warfield is a veteran and a promising pool hustler. In The Education of Xavier Warfield, he finds the most valuable lessons in life aren’t learned in the pool room when he falls for a lady with a questionable past. With One Exception tells of an encounter that begins on shaky terms between Erving Robinson, a militant African-American, and Harland Conrad, a white Vietnam veteran, but evolves as Robinson helps Conrad fight his demons.The Gift finds Myron Turner, a recluse and an empath, confronted by an older empath when he tries to hide his abilities. Leroy Casper is enjoying The Good Life when a past association barges into his life shattering the peace he’s established and causes him to take drastic measures. In The Tell, Maurice Johnson learns that a “tell” applies not only to poker but to life— too late.Ralph Gaines in The Best Seat In the House, is down on his luck after a lofty law and political career and only has a reserved seat in a bar as a symbol of respect. When a young bully commandeers the seat, the elderly Gaines snaps, simultaneously solving the seat issue and a personal problem. The Last Time I Saw Willie, is a coming of age account of Raymond Williams, a young middle-class African-American who learns the importance of dedication and persistence when he meets Willie Stinson, an orphan.A Good Day To Be A Man demonstrates that physical confrontation is not necessarily the path to manhood. In Slow Songs, Lieutenant Raymond Williams faces his worst fear in Vietnam, and it has nothing to do with his personal welfare.Provocative and intense, Something About Ann delves into the lives of those where war has no end.