Thursday, April 06, 2017

A Conflict Lives on in Fiction

National Public Radio’s All Things Considered program noted this afternoon that “The U.S. entered [World War I] a century ago, on April 6, 1917, nearly three years after [fighting] erupted in Europe during the summer of 1914. The Americans made quite a splash, turning a stalemate in favor of their British and French allies.” This provides an excellent occasion to remind readers of a piece I put together for Kirkus Reviews three years ago, looking back at the so-called Great War’s continuing impact on crime and mystery fiction.

Also worth listening to on All Things Considered today was this story about the 1918 lynching of a German immigrant in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. It struck a personal chord. My maternal grandfather, who was born in Canada but fought with the British Army during World War I, before moving to the United States, used to tell me how even after the war’s end, he kept secret the fact that his mother was German. She’d married his father, a tailor in Great Britain, before heading across the Atlantic in the very late 19th century.

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