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Dave King

Charles Ruas interviews artist Dave King on his first novel, The Ha-Ha, a critically acclaimed novel about a controversial subject very pertinent to a wartime culture. The protagonist, Howard, is a disabled Viet Nam vet whose injuries have a disastrous effect on his family and friends. The novel follows his painful progress through the years to rebuild a facsimile of a normal life. (As we write, the war in Iraq is creating tens of thousands of injured on all sides who are facing physical and social rehabilitation and are invisible to the media.) Howard's life takes a sudden turn when his former girlfriend has to go into rehab for her drug addiction and leaves him in charge of her nine-year-old son. His attempt to create a semblance of normalcy for the boy reveals the narrow focus of his existence. Gradually he is forced to build a life around the child and measure the distance between himself and the real world. A brave and powerful first novel on the toll of the aftermath of war.


Conversations with Writers


Host Charles Ruas in conversation with contemporary writers and poets, continuing a stream of intelligent discussion dating back to his legendary days at WBAI Pacifica Radio in New York in the seventies. Ruas is the author of Conversations with American Writers, a Fulbright scholar, and a distinguished French translator. His writing has frequently appeared in both ARTNews and Art in America. His other Clocktower-produced program is Historic Audio From the Archives of Charles Ruas and is one of the most brilliant and extensive collections of historic audio in our archive.