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Turnip Patch Infield and a Navajo by Lawrence A. Wenzel
Two former baseball teammates from different cultures cross paths during WWII. A murder happens on V-J Day. A mysterious woman appears years later when the two reunite.

"This novel takes its main character -- a baseball player named Buddy -- through a philosophical journey that quietly gets scarier as it goes on. Although the book covers a lot of incidents from Buddy's playing with the Bisbee Bees toward the end of the Depression, through his service in the Marines in the South Pacific, and finally to an academic career, it is really about mounting anxiety over not knowing what the meaning of life is.

"Maybe Buddy's life, toward the end, becomes a kind of pointillist painting if he imagines some of the dots moving toward others, some away from still others, and some crashing into other dots. Each of us with Buddy inhabits our own dot; together, we make a painting, yet we cannot view what it is because we have no way of stationing ourselves far enough from the canvas for the whole to come into focus and give up its meaning. There may be no composition anyway, certainly no center.

"Wenzel carries this perspective-tracking pretty far: He often sets up an incident with dialogue and then withdraws us suddenly from the action, informing through the authorial prerogative what the outcome is going to be years later. By the use of such distancing devices, he keeps Buddy's quest on a philosophical level, yet he darkens the reader's horizon, too."--Sarkis Shmavonian, News and Review

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"Using the context of those most-masculine twentieth century institutions -- sports and war -- Lawrence Wenzel brilliantly illuminates the dynamics of race and class relations, identity, and ultimately, love. Turnip Patch Infield and a Navajo is more than a baseball story – it’s a moving, often pithy, existential meaning of life. A grand slam!" –Michael A. Messner, Ph.D., University of Southern California

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"Dr, Wenzel has written a baseball novel, a novel of Marines in World War II, and, at the same time, a philosophical book that takes on some of the big issues.

"This straightforward, moving story approaches the world of 1940-1945 from the viewpoint of a minor league baseball player whose career is cut short, Buddy Bones then joins the Marine Corps. His is a World War II experience different, and in some respects, more believable than the one so often portrayed.

"The prose is lean, engaging, the story is compelling. Hardship, boredom and interpersonal relationships are the norm. Poverty, unions and the racism so dominant in the 1940s and bedevil Buddy as he continues his unending search for a 'center.'

"Good reading a good story, and some hard questions." --Don LaFave, Ph.D., Yuba College

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"Professor Wenzel’s Turnip Patch Infield and a Navajo is a journey through war and peace, present, past and again, present using baseball as a metaphor and a statement on life and its meaning or lack of meaning. His book is engrossing, insightful and superbly entertaining." --George Wright, Ph.D., California State University, Chico

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"This is a story about dreams. Young Buddy Bones embarks on his dream of becoming a professional baseball player. Buddy's journey is counterpointed by the older professor Wenceslaus' sojourn into reveries, dreams, and the search for meaning. The two kind of find each other in "real" time.

"Although the novel is essentially philosophical it doesn't break bones in one's head. When the legendary King Authur was bewildered, Merlin would tell him to 'think back.' With its universal appeal of characters and experiences, this book compels the reader to do the same.

"I didn't lay this one down--all in one read. Too many things going on to dog-ear a page. Give it a read." --Bill Patton, www.booksunderreview.com

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Turnip Patch Infield and a Navajo, ISBN 0-918606-13-4, $22.95

Order Turnip Patch Infield and a Navajo by Lawrence A. Wenzel

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