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Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Soldiers Rejoiced That They Could Do Whatever To These Girls" -- An Infantryman Responds to "Save Send Delete"

William Adolphe Bouguereau Virgil and Dante 
I received an email on Thursday, April 3, from someone who read my book "Save Send Delete." I was astounded by this email because no one except a tiny handful of people I've reached through one-on-one marketing – by, for example, reading to very small gatherings at public libraries – knows that "Save Send Delete" even exists. Getting an email from a stranger is rare.

I was doubly astounded because the email was rather intense. The reader reported, "The last few days I haven't been able to sleep after reading your book."

I asked the sender if I could post his comments on this blog. He sent me an edited text and gave me permission to post that. It's below.

***

I read your book "Send Save Delete" and it touched me with its powerful message. I've never written to an author before. (I'm guessing a lot of people will write to you after reading that book!)

I spent a few years in the Army after I ran out of college money. (The infantry 2006-2009) During my time in I was promoted often, however, I was shocked at the brutality with which people treated each other and their enemies. I realized life held little value to many, but it became more precious to me! I spent some time in Asia and was shocked at the human trafficking and the absolute disregard to its negative aspects. Soldiers simply rejoiced at the fact they could "do whatever" to these girls with no consequence.

During that time my girlfriend from the college I couldn't afford graduated. We decided to get married. We will probably spend most of our lives in Asia. We ended up making more Asian friends than American! We gained some contacts with the Korean underground railroad and plan on opening up a school in the Jilin province of China. (After the army we taught English in Korea for 2 years) I am now back in college getting the degrees necessary to facilitate opening up an English school overseas.

Reading your book revealed things about my own identity that I never could have put into words. Touched by suffering at a young age I could never understand my desire to always be around it. The desire to actually give someone something that mattered was intense. In a sense it was the desire to find people who had suffered more than myself and help them; after all, they would be the people I could help the most! I often question my own motives for desiring to help others, is it because I desire adoration? Or do I really give unselfishly?

I discovered your book after reading the poem "Women of Darfur" and googling you. I hated the poem! (It was an assignment for school) I thought that it was just another written work to make non sufferers feel guilty. (I also hated the fact that I knew it would inspire platform seekers a spring board to launch their particular grievance. ( Liberals vs Conservatives.. Racism..

Environmentalism.. Capitalism etc) Suffering always seems to be the platform used to degrade the perceived perpetrator. So I googled you. I am glad that I did! Your book will always always be special to me! I do have one question for you. What was your motivation for writing "Women of Darfur?" Was it out of anger? When you wrote it, were you angry that there were people living an ignorantly blissful life?

In closing I'd like to thank you for writing the book "Send Save Delete" I hope that it does well and that the Lord blesses you with many opportunities to change lives. I pray that you are blessed with the joy of giving meaningful life to those who believe their life has no meaning.


- Caleb Tucci

***

Again, I'm astounded by this email. I spent the year that "Save Send Delete" was published begging editors at Christian and Catholic periodicals like Commonweal, Christianity Today, and the National Catholic Reporter to review the book. That's largely how the public learns of the existence of books – through book reviews. Not only would periodicals not review "Save Send Delete," they wouldn't even look at it. They saw no value in my work, and it's easy for me to conclude that my work has no value.

Receiving an unexpected email from a complete stranger is a rare and astounding experience.

If you'd like to read "Save Send Delete" you can buy it at Amazon here or send me an email for a lower priced, autographed copy.

4 comments:

  1. Tale this validation to heart and treasure it, Danusha. Brava. Thee is no response as rewarding as having changed someone in some way.

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  2. A wonderful testament to the quality of your writing.

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