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Ron Kovic in conversation with Kaylie Jones

February 20 @ 12:00 pm

Ron Kovic in conversation with Kaylie Jones

City Lights and Akashic Books celebrate the publication of

A Dangerous Country: An American Elegy

by Ron Kovic

Published by Akashic Books

When eighteen-year-old RON KOVIC enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1964, he couldn’t foresee that he would return from Vietnam paralyzed and in a wheelchair for life. His best-selling 1976 memoir Born on the Fourth of July became an antiwar classic and was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Tom Cruise as Kovic. His follow-up, Hurricane Street, chronicled his advocacy for Vietnam veterans’ rights. A Dangerous Country: An American Elegy completes Kovic’s Vietnam Trilogy, delving deep into his long and often agonizing journey home from war and eventual healing, forgiveness, and spiritual redemption.

The book opens with Kovic’s never-before-revealed Vietnam diary (July 7, 1967–July 26, 1968). His entries from this period portray a patriotic young soldier with a strong moral and religious conscience. Kovic then recalls his political awakening after his return from Vietnam confined to a wheelchair following his horrific injury. He also chronicles the tremendous guilt he feels over his accidental killing of a fellow Marine while on patrol. This killing psychologically torments him as much as his severe disability.

After years of social, political, and sexual turmoil—and on the brink of suicide—Kovic experiences a powerful epiphany that gives him a reason and purpose to live; a renewed faith and strength to carry on. Although his trauma is severe, his third memoir is ultimately the inspirational story of a survivor finding a way to rise above his depression and despair, forgiving his enemies and himself, and growing deeply committed to a new life.

Ron Kovic served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. He was paralyzed from his chest down in combat in 1968 and has been in a wheelchair ever since. Along with Oliver Stone, Kovic was the co-screenwriter of the 1989 Academy Award–winning film based on Kovic’s best-selling memoir Born on the Fourth of July (starring Tom Cruise as Kovic). Hurricane Street (2016) detailed Kovic’s efforts to organize the American Veterans Movement in 1974, fighting for better treatment of injured and disabled veterans.

Kaylie Jones has published seven books, including a memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me, and her most recent novel, The Anger Meridian. Her novel A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries was adapted as a Merchant Ivory film in 1998. Jones has been teaching for more than twenty-five years, and is a faculty member in the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing & Literature program and in Wilkes University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. She is the author of Speak Now and the editor of Long Island Noir. Her newest endeavor is her publishing imprint with Akashic Books, Kaylie Jones Books.

This event is made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation.

Details

Date:
February 20
Time:
12:00 pm
Website:
https://citylights.com/events/ron-kovic-in-conversation-with-kaylie-jones/

Organizer

City Lights Bookstore
Phone
(415)-362-8193
View Organizer Website