What Worries Me the Most

What Worries Me the Most

Posted on January 24 by William Kowalski
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I've been living in Canada since 2000, but I grew up in the US, and I will probably always think of myself reflexively as an American expatriate.  I mention this to explain that like most books, this one was not just a labour of love, but also an expression of anger.  

Since 9/11/2001, I have been in a state of shock over the fear-based response from the American government.  The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were horribly botched.  It's as if we've learned nothing from Vietnam.  In fact, some of the same people who were in charge of the Vietnam war were in charge of these wars, too.  And they did no better this time around.

I didn't simply wake up one day and decide to write this story.  It started out as something very different. But eventually the narrative emerged as I opened up to what was really on my mind.  My good friend Don Sedgwick told me once when I was feeling lost that I should write about the things that worried me the most.  What worries me the most is that we are destroying lives as if they mean nothing--the lives of the people in the countries where we are fighting, and the lives of the young men we send to fight.  

So, THE HUNDRED HEARTS was born.  It's a story about a Vietnam veteran and his grandson, Jeremy, a veteran of Afghanistan.  It shows how war destroys everything it touches, and it shows how it can reach through generations and across thousands of miles.  This is not the first story that has tried to do that.  But it is a story that apparently still needs to be heard, both by the people who are in power, and those who allow them to remain there.  This is also a book with a message, and books with messages fall on deaf ears more often than they are heard.  Nobody wants to be preached to.  But when people do read this book, they tend to respond strongly, and the overwhelming message is:  I am so glad you wrote this.

 

William Kowalski

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
William Kowalski photo

William Kowalski

William Kowalski is the winner of the 2001 Ama-Boeke Award (South Africa) and was shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association's Golden Oak Award. He is the author of four novels, including Eddie's Bastard. His work has appeared on numerous international bestseller lists and has been translated into fifteen languages. He lives in Nova Scotia.