NCHS member Nancy Corson Carter has published a memoir, The Never-Quite-Ending War, a WWII GI Daughter’s Stories (Lystra Books, Chapel Hill: 2017). Nancy writes of the book:
“My father left before D-Day to soldier in Europe during the first 2 1/2 years of my life. When he returned, our family felt impacts of the war mixed in with the promise of new beginnings. I follow our life in the US in the ‘40s and ‘50s, especially my relationship with Daddy. The stories continue to the present as I reflect on the war, seeking peace and healing in personal as well as in wider worlds.”
In her Preface, Nancy describes how haibun gave her a way to shape the book:
“I began to write and to collect images hoping to find some kind of wholeness. I covered a large bulletin board with photos and maps; I wrote poems and sketched stories; I experimented with form and wrestled with the intimacy issues of memoir. The war’s remnants were tightly stitched into the fabric of my childhood, but I needed to alter them—to cut them apart and then to re-make a more suitable garment. After more than a decade of this process, I’ve found a kind of quilted pattern that fits me: the Japanese pattern of haibun juxtaposes short poem and sometimes illustrations with prose units of a narrative, usually about a journey. I write further about my adaptation of this form in the chapter “Japan: Anger and Art.” I write letters to my father to open each prose section, with the intention to keep the honesty of personal exchange in our relationship, even beyond his death. The poems and photos extend the stories and evoke other dimensions of them.”
Nancy Corson Carter, Ph.D., professor emerita of humanities at Eckerd College, is a writer, photographer, workshop and retreat leader, and environmental activist. The Never-Quite-Ending War is available from Amazon, Indie Bound, and local bookstores.