Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Andra Day $5 Off Fire TV Stick Off to College Essentials Shop Popular Services pivdl pivdl pivdl  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Now STEM Toys & Games
Black Glasses Like Clark Kent and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.00
  • Save: $1.99 (14%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Black Glasses Like Clark ... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Unread Book,,,It ships directly from amazon's warehouses with amazon's A-Z customer satisfaction guarantee will have you 100% satisfied
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Black Glasses Like Clark Kent: A GI's Secret from Postwar Japan Paperback – January 22, 2008

11 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.01
$2.95 $0.01

New & Popular:"Born on the Bayou"
Read the popular new author memoir from Blaine Lourd.
$12.01 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In spare, controlled prose, novelist and poet Svoboda (Tin God) turns to nonfiction to deliver a powerful memoir-turned-political exposé. Svoboda sets out to document the military experiences of her uncle Don, but the Abu Ghraib prison scandal unleashes her uncle's repressed memories, sending him into a deep depression. Before his eventual suicide, Don confesses long-unspoken secrets on cassettes for the author. The tapes reveal more about his service in post-WWII Japan, as well as detailed accounts of human rights abuses. As the book progresses, Svoboda grows increasingly aware of the consequences of Don's words. His stories are interspersed through-and haunt-every chapter "I listen to his tapes several more times. His voice sounds much lower than I remember, it's so gravelly I could walk on it." The raw quality of Svoboda's relationship to her uncle is as captivating as Svoboda's investigations of the postwar period are alarming. Because she tries to include so much, the author occasionally runs into structural problems-though some of her digressions actually help the reader: by including interviews with Japanese citizens, tales of frustration with the National Archives, and conversations with her father, Svoboda illuminates her text.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

A sense of urgency pervades all of [Svoboda's] work, giving the words a pulse, making her language race with insistence. (Poets & Writers)

See all Editorial Reviews
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555974902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555974909
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Writing in the voice of God as I did in Tin God didn't seem like much of a stretch after being the eldest of nine children. We lived in a small town in southwest Nebraska with the smell of sage tumbleweeds and cattle feedlots. Although I've lived most of my adult life in NYC, I'm still haunted by home, a place that's now mostly in my head. But in NYC, I can travel without going anywhere. Eight languages are spoken on my block, including Chinese. For me, that's perfect--I can be surrounded by people I know but I can't understand a word they're saying. When The Next Big War Blows Down The Valley: Selected and New Poems will be available this November, and I took a swerve into biography, resulting in Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet in January 2016. I'm delighted to be free of footnotes!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gay J. Walley on April 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
Black Glasses Like Clark Kent is one of those non fiction books that reads like a novel, almost a French novel, in that the narrator is self-aware and weaving the opinions and feelings and revelations of the characters in the story around the action of the book. The action is haunting -- what DID happen to the MPs and their prisoners in Postwar Japan and why does no one want to talk about it -- but, equally as haunting, is the family suffering the loss of the uncle MP who recently committed suicide. Was what he saw and lived through unbearable? He has sent his writer niece (Terese Svoboda) the tapes of what happened and she listens and then begins to investigate. As with all suicides of someone one knows and loves, she feels she did not do enough. She does enough to tell his story and find the morality that he himself was reckoning with. Of course, the book makes us, once again, reflect on the high moral and mortal cost of all who "serve". It proves that if the serviceman is willing to remember, the pain can get him. Hence, many of Svoboda's interviewees aren't talking. Svoboda's style (in all her books) is spare, sly, and unflinching in getting to the heart of her story. In this book, her father (the uncle's brother) rallies her on. Personally, I am partial to non fiction by novelists, since they cannot but give you all the facts without going to the heart. The book stays with me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynn A. Lurie on April 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
A meticulously researched memoir that in its revelation of truth reads as a work of fiction. The story leaves the reader with an emptiness that is borne of all suicides... even those where the victim is not one of our own. It takes courage to write a memoir like this one, how to tell what can be told and that which can not be expressed about an older family member, beloved and iconic, whose death forces those who wish to grieve silently to try to find a way back to the missing. It is a story of war, all wars, a story of survival and how with the stories we tell we keep the dead alive. The reader is relieved to see the quotidian details of the narrator's life as a way of momentary displacing grief, additionally these background noises remind us how we are all sitting next to someone who may be making a meatloaf while crying.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Placey Wadey on March 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Black Glasses Like Clark Kent, Terese Svoboda has rendered a beautifully nuanced memoir. Her uncle has a secret about his service as an MP in post-WWII occupied Japan that becomes more urgent when he sees the photographs of Abu Ghraib. But he won't reveal this secret easily to her. He sends her tapes of his memories through the mail, and Svoboda must piece together all the information at her hands -- her uncle's memories, his letters home to his girlfriend during his service, her familial relationships, statistics about the occupation of Japan -- many of which are conflicting, her understanding of heroism, and interviews with aging WWII veteran and Japanese native populations to try and uncover the secret. In the vein of Susan Griffin, Svoboda offers a mosaic text with pieces of the puzzle -- military documents, memories, photographs, and taped transcripts juxtaposed so that the reader joins her in the journey of trying to uncover what her uncle couldn't bring himself to say. This memoir is written for readers who like to be actively engaged by a story rather than sitting back and having it spoon fed to them. Her writing is beautiful. Her honesty is bracing. It should never be forgotten during the reading that this is a true story -- her uncle's last story. If we are to understand how events like Abu Ghraib happened, then we need to understand how it was not an isolated incident in our military history. Svoboda takes the difficult and accurate view that the brave men and women who serve in our military are often asked to do things in the line of duty that will haunt them the rest of their lives. I highly recommend this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nina Murray on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
A memoir of Svoboda's search for truth behind her uncle's recollections of serving as an MP in occupied Japan, this work is an intense and heart-breaking study of memory. Svoboda is the author of nine novels, and this book begins as an unwanted extra project when her father nags her to write down her uncle's "secret". Svoboda gives in when the uncle, whom she knows as a model of cheerful vivacity, a Superman with "grapefruit-sized biceps", succumbs to depression. After he records his memories on tapes for her to transcribe, he kills himself, leaving the family to hunt for the reason in the stories he leaves behind.
The desire to know the truth will keep you turning pages. The tapes contain a veiled confession to manslaughter, but more importantly, they also hold terrifying evidence of executions performed in a military prison in Tokyo in 1946. Svoboda comes to suspect that her uncle, like many vets, suffered from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder which was aggravated by the Abu-Ghraib revelations. Her efforts to corroborate her uncle's story threaten to unhinge other MP vets.
Yet people become her most reliable source, as Svoboda discovers that the military, unintentionally and otherwise, has limited access to the records of the time. The more she is denied information, the less likely--and the more heart-rendering--it becomes that her uncle's witness could ever be conferred the same place in reality as the undeniable fact of the suicide it brought on.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Black Glasses Like Clark Kent: A GI's Secret from Postwar Japan
This item: Black Glasses Like Clark Kent: A GI's Secret from Postwar Japan
Price: $12.01
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com
Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: world war ii, military history