Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Between the Lines: The Forgotten War

by Zinta Aistars
for WMUK 102.1 FM
Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate

Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. (or listen anytime online), on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.

This week's guest: Steven Spruill

Steve Spruill (Photo by Nancy Spruill)

Steven Spruill wanted to write a story about war ever since he found his father’s military uniform hanging in their Battle Creek basement. “He was in the US Army Air Corps,” Spruill recalls. He was a young boy when he came across his father’s uniform. Spruill is a father now himself and the author of 16 books.

Spruill calls his most recent book, Ice Men: A Novel of the Korean War, his "magnum opus." While most of his earlier books were science fiction novels, Spruill says he decided to write about the Korean War after browsing a book store. 

“I was four years old when the Korean War started,” he says. “I thought nothing of it at the time because I heard nothing about it. The war went on until I was seven.” He would wonder later about that silence, “Why don’t I know more about this? I went into a book store and there were these walls of books on World War Two, and walls of books about the Vietnam War. And there were two bookshelves, less than the length of my arm span, about the Korean War.”
Spruill felt driven to make those shelves wider. He interviewed Korean War veterans, spent countless hours on research, and wrote Ice Men — only to find that his usual publishers, St. Martin’s Press and Doubleday, weren’t interested. Other ...

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