Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Historical context

I found an extraordinary book to put my Cold War novel in historic context, so I don't have to rely totally on personal experience: GIs and Frauleins: The German-American Encounter in 1950s West Germany. This book focuses on Baumholder as the typically small farming community turned into a soldiers' playground by the influx of tens of thousands of soldiers. Some of this might prove useful, especially in developing my German character who's involved in the sex syndicate of the era. This is exciting stuff for me. I found the book on the net and got it delivered from nearby Reed College, along with a book called The Wall and Berlin from Oregon State University. Thank God for book exchange among universities.

I'll only use a small fraction of material learned here in the novel I suspect but I think the broader historic context will inform my personal experiences in a positive way -- especially among the German characters, which is where my personal experience is weakest.

Feels so good to have this very old struggle of a project off the ground and looking fine! Baumholder, 1961. It's about time.

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