The Wherewithal -- A Novel in Verse by Philip Schultz, Norton '14, $25.95, ASIN #0393240940.
A novel in verse may be a literary genre new to many readers. In his new book, Pulitzer Prize-winner Philip Schultz recounts the story of a traumatized young man dodging the Vietnam War's draft and, as such, is an astonishing meditation on the nature of evil and the destructivity of war.
"The Wherewithal opens in the San Francisco of 1968, a time and place both freewheeling and out of control," writes Philip Schultz. "Henryk Wyrzkowski, the troubled, haunted narrator of the book, works in the basement office of the city's welfare department, watching the bottom of the world from his window and shuffling papers for the least fortunate of the city's citizenry.
"Henryk is also hiding from a very dark past, and he busies himself in the basement with translating his mother's diaries from the Polish. The diaries recount the horrifying history witnessed by Henryk's mother as she tries to hide Jews in her town -- former friends, neighbors, school mates -- from her fellow Polish neighbors who slaughtered them for their property during World War II."
Author Philip Schultz has written seven collections of poetry. He is the founder and director of the Writers Studio and lives in East Hampton, N.Y.