Historical novelist John J. Dwyer will be signing his newest book Shortgrass the day before Father’s Day from 2-4 p.m. June 17 at the Barnes & Noble at 8620 E. 71st St.
In, Shortgrass: Lessons from a World War II American Odyssey, author and historian John J. Dwyer draws from the written and unwritten pages of American history, to weave a story that could parallel today’s headlines.
Dwyer’s Shortgrass (Tiree Press, May 2017) offers a realism that differs from your typical historical novel revealing the grit and determination that defined “The Greatest Generation.”
“While the story is set in a different era, Shortgrass, and its sequel, Mustang, are the closest thing to my own written testament to those who come after me. They depict what I have learned about love and loss, history and heroes, inner conflict and unanswered questions, God and man – life itself,” said Dwyer. “Although a work of fiction, the history and the lessons it teaches us are timeless and real.”
The journey of a Mennonite farm boy, Lance Roark, begins in the drought-ravaged Dust Bowl of Oklahoma where his battle for survival would prepare him for college gridiron glory. As war clouds gather across the seas, he is smitten with teenaged Chickasaw cowgirl and stunt flyer Sadie Stanton. He later finds love with Mary Katherine Murchison, a beautiful oil heiress and singing star of the Big Band Era.
He eventually enters the dangerous world of America First, the Lindbergh-led organization opposing Roosevelt’s drive toward American involvement in the War. When the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, his lifelong commitment never to raise his hand against another human soul brings him to his own crisis of conscience. He is faced with the decision whether or not to accept command of a B-17 Flying Fortress in which he would witness, and inflict, mass slaughter in Nazi occupied Europe amidst history’s most fearsome war.
“John Dwyer writes as he thinks: lucidly, dynamically, engagingly. Wherever John takes you, you’ll be glad you went. And you will want to go again,” said Reg Grant, senior professor and Chair of Media Arts & Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary.