By William Hart
Published by Fifthian Press
January 2002; ISBN: 1564743861; 208 pages
Tuesday, September 3
first class meeting for English 002. When teacher walk in, I am disappoint.
A man teacher. I think he is 40 years old, maybe. His name is Mr. Goddard.
No way to fail English now. Because I always keep promise, and I dont wanna die.Copyright © 2002 William Hart
Reprinted with permission. (back to top)
At a state university in mid-1980's Los Angeles, freshman English routinely turns ethnic minority and immigrant students into ex-students--until an untenured instructor bucks the system.
an unusual spin on the relationship between student and teacher in this
promising debut novel, which begins when a Vietnamese student names Tina
Le signs up for an ESL language course taught by a disgruntled, deeply
damaged Vietnam vet John Goddard at a California state college.
Hart finds a nice prose rhythm as he shifts back and forth between Goddard
and his student, and he avoids the obvious clichés as he explores
the nuances of their relationship and the inherent inequities of the academic
system that brings them together.
This is a solidly impressive debut
by a writer worth watching.
Hart has written a powerful, arresting first novel that explores the teacher/student
relationship in a new and complex way. This is a book about heroism, about
the scars of Vietnam, and, ultimately, about love.
William Hart earned a doctorate in English at USC and has taught basic writing/ESL at Los Angeles universities. His stories and poems appear widely in newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. He is the author of several poetry collections, including Paris, which won a Merit Book Award from the Haiku Society of America. Hart also writes scripts, most often for his wife, PBS documentary filmmaker Jayasri Majumdar. Never Fade Away is his first novel.