Big Blue Marble welcomes back poet and novelist Baron Wormser, and welcomes home to Philly poet Jeanne Marie Beaumont. Wormser will be reading from his first novel, Tom o’Vietnam.
Baron Wormser’s fifteenth book, Tom o’ Vietnam, traces the travels of a Vietnam vet in the fall of 1982. Tom o’ Vietnam is a very American road novel but also an evocation and investigation of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Like Tom o’ Bedlam, Tom is hiding out, “impersonating a person,” as he puts it. Tom journeys on one bus after another across a landscape that makes him wonder what he was fighting for. From Santa Fe to Washington, D.C., he meets fellow Americans who have their own stories to tell and who wonder about his. Along the way he spends time with his three sisters, all the while attempting to deal with the demons of the war and the ghosts of the Shakespearean tragedy he carries with him. Tom o’ Vietnam blends poetry, history, and dark wit, as it bears witness to the depths of eloquence and grief, anger and endurance.