Shrapnel explores the legacy of war in three generations of men from the Butler family. Bing Butler, a seventy-seven-year-old, right-wing widower and World War II veteran from Texas, reluctantly moves in with his feminist, antiwar daughter in West Virginia. Here he is forced to bury painful family secrets and stifle his tendencies toward racism, classism, and homophobia. His post-9/11 anxieties equally force him to grapple with these psychological foibles, as his daughter's only son rallies to enlist to serve overseas. Bing had once embraced such patriotic fervor, but after bullying his own son into going to Vietnam, he finds he must now muster a kind of emotional bravery he never knew he was capable of in order to keep the family together. At turns funny and at other turns frightening (and frighteningly honest), Shrapnel is surprising and ultimately greatly rewarding.
About the Author:
Marie Manilla is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. The Patron Saint of Ugly (winner of the 2014 Weatherford Award) has been described as a blend of magical realism, Southern Gothic, and Sicilian malocchio. Daniel Wallace selected her novel, Shrapnel (2012), as winner of the Fred Bonnie Award for Best First Novel. Still Life with Plums: Short Stories (2010), was a finalist for both the Weatherford Award and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year