Louise DeSalvo, Chasing Ghosts

Louise DeSalvo presents her new memoir

When literary biographer and memoirist Louise DeSalvo embarked upon a journey to learn why her father came home from World War II a changed man, she didn't realize her quest would take ten years or that it would yield more revelations about the man--and herself--and the effect of his military service upon their family than she'd ever imagined. During his last years, as he told her about his life, DeSalvo began to understand that her obsession with war novels and military history wasn't merely academic but rooted in her desire to understand this complex father whom she both adored and reviled because of his mistreatment of her. Although she at first believes she wants to uncover his story, the story of a man who was no hero and who was adversely affected by his military service, she learns that what she really wants is to recover the man he was before he went away. 

Chasing Ghosts is an original contribution to the understanding of workingclass World War II veterans who did not conventionally distinguish themselves through "heroic" actions and whose lives were not until recently considered worthy of historical or cultural attention. It personalizes the history of those sailors who served in the Navy aboard aircraft carriers and on islands in the Pacific prior to and during World War II and contributes to the current vital conversation about the often-unrecognized effects of war and its traumas upon those men and their families. It reveals the lifelong devastating consequences of military service on those men and women who fell in love, married, and set up house. And it reveals the complexity of what it is like to be the daughter of a father who has gone to war.

LOUISE DESALVO is an award-winning teacher and writer. She is currently the Jenny Hunter Endowed Professor at Hunter College where she started Hunter's MFA in Memoir program. She has published seventeen books, among them "Virginia Woolf", named one of the most important books of the 20th century by "The Women's Review of Books", and the groundbreaking "Writing as a Way of Healing". She lives in Sag Harbor, NY, and Upper Montclair, NJ with her husband.

Event date: 
Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
Chasing Ghosts: A Memoir of a Father, Gone to War (World War II: The Global) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780823268849
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Fordham University Press - October 12th, 2015