Non-Viewable: A Memoir
By John Sacret Young
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374249038, 288pp.)
Publication Date: May 2005
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When John Sacret Young's cousin, Doug was killed in Vietnam, Young learned that the remains of every Vietnam casualty fell into one of two official categories: Viewable or Non-Viewable. He also discovered that such categories applied to how his New England family faced its own history.
This compelling narrative is the haunting story of a man coming to terms with himself, with his family's past, with what he knows and will never know, and with his own future.
Remains: Non-Viewable traces the close-knit lives of four men in Young's family: his uncle George, his cousin Doug, his father, and the author himself. In lyrical yet pungent prose, it illustrates how their seemingly tranquil existence on the Massachusetts shore is affected over the years by war, alcoholism, fading friendships and shifting memories of events gone by.
Beautifully written and profoundly moving, Remains: Non-Viewable, a powerful and persuasive examination of fathers and sons, of war and remembrance, and of family and self.
John Sacret Young was co-creator, writer, and executive producer of China Beach, the landmark television series about Vietnam. He is the author of The Weather Tomorrow, a novel.
"Remains: Non-Viewable is an exceptional memoir about one family--and a generation. It is a compelling portrait of many worlds--Yankee New England, Vietnam and Hollywood--and of high adventures, antic moments, and the cycles of love and grief. Every page is wrought with indelible grace and the restless energy of emotions that even the passage of time cannot quell." --Scott Turow
"Young writes so well his memoir works as a novel. He brings to life real people in dramatic situations, and with the added zest of suspense and a dash of Hollywood." --Elmore Leonard