Historical fiction is a special and important genre. It can bring history to life, but more importantly it can allow us to put ourselves in the lives of those of another time, another context. There is a strong tendency in the United States toward historical amnesia. This is perhaps one of the biggest character flaws of the country. Floating in a constant now there is a complex, but highly malleable, context that disappears in the moment. This can drain the richness from our lives, set us on paths both personally and societally destructive, and perhaps most importantly, totally erode the concept of free will replacing it with faux will.
Gaither Stewart is an excellent storyteller who importantly is personally steeped in the socio-political complexities of the post WWII world – most particularly in Europe and Russia. His fictional work offers the richness of that context as his characters walk through a terrain that many (most) today neither understand or remember. I believe this exposure is critical for those in the US (and Canada) in particular because there has not been a war on this turf in many generations. Our lack of connection to that experience makes it all too easy to minimize, or allow government and corporate media to largely “disappear”, conflicts happening around the world. More importantly, it minimizes our knowledge our own nation’s role in those conflicts.
Words Unspoken is a three part series set in the WWII period with characters that help populate a socio-emotional terrain it would do us well to explore. I have a strong suspicion that being able to grasp these dynamics and their personal features may help us prepare for what is barrelling down on us from both political and environmental collapse.
— Rowan Wolf
- Words Unspoken I: The Powers of Love and War
- Words Unspoken II: Operation Niku
- Words Unspoken III: The Power of Woman
- PDF version (for reading or printing)
- Kindle version (for Amazon’s Kindle reader or kindle application on other devices)
- ePub version (for iPad, Nook, Kobo, and Adobe Digital Editions)
Previously posted on Uncommon Thought, July 26, 2019
Gaither Stewart is a Writer on Dandelion Salad. A veteran journalist and essayist on a broad palette of topics from culture to history and politics, he is also the author of the Europe Trilogy, celebrated spy thrillers whose latest volume, Time of Exile, was recently published by Punto Press. His latest book is the essay anthology Babylon Falling: Essays About Waning Qualities and Studies of Failing Empires (Punto Press, 2017).
From the archives: