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Two Southern soldiers, recently back from Vietnam, struggle to resume their lives amid dangerous and deep-rooted prejudice

Thomas Laidlaw returns home from Vietnam with nothing much in mind but to tend his acreage, live apart, and get lost in the roots music he grew up with. Laidlaw’s childhood friend Rodney Redmon is doubly burdened: Not only is he scarred from the war, he is also a black man living in a prejudiced area of Tennessee. Redmon’s homecoming from the war included time in jail—the result of his being framed for real estate fraud by racist forces within the local establishment. Once released, he and Laidlaw rekindle their friendship and both veterans try to put the war behind them. But when a group of local Klansman emerges, the violence that haunts them may prove impossible to escape. Masterful in its execution and stunning in its emotional resonance, Soldier’s Joy is a riveting portrait of two damaged souls struggling to achieve solace despite the demons of their past.

This title is also available in paperback from Open Road Media.

ABOUT Madison Smartt Bell

  • BIOGRAPHY

    Madison Smartt Bell is a critically acclaimed writer of more than a dozen novels and story collections, as well as numerous essays and reviews for publications such as Harper’s and the New York Times Book Review. His books have been finalists for both the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, among other honors. Bell has also taught at distinguished creative writing programs including the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Johns Hopkins, and Goucher College. His work is notable for its sweeping historical and philosophical scope matched with a remarkable sensitivity to the individual voices of characters on the margins of society.

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