Welcome to the Club by Clement Biddle Wood
New York : McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1966. First Edition. Hardcover. 246 pages ; 22 cm. $4.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB : A novel by Clement Biddle Wood
Cherry-blossom time in Hiroshima, the April after the Unpleasantness.
Lt. Andrew Oxblood, a Philadelphian, a Quaker, a blueblood, and "the only nineteen-and-a-half-year-old virgin in the world," becomes involved in the billeting problems of a visiting trio of Negro U.S.O. entertainers.
Oxblood is a young and hopeful Quixote—and the author, blending irony and pity, lovingly details the wild four-day weekend, during which Oxblood not only juggles the White Man's Burden, the Black Man's Burden, the Red and Yellow Man's Burden, but solves his personal problem as well.
Zesty, pungent, colorful, and hilarious, this is a brilliantly imaginative novel on a deeply serious theme. For Clem Wood's book is about prejudice — racial, social and sexual; his characters — from Oxblood to the Nigerian Nefertiti, Shawna O'Shay, to the Texan General Strapp of the 50th (Hounddog Division)—are real people; and his searing compassion extends beyond his book to every reader who has tasted the dubious joys of belonging to the Club.
Clement Biddle Wood is a Philadelphian born and bred. At the end of World War II he was the youngest infantry lieutenant in the U.S. Arm, and served in Japan the first year of the Occupation. A Harvard graduate, he has been the least dedicated propagandist in Washington, the least gentlemanly farmer in Pennsylvania, the least bilingual screenwriter in Paris.
Welcome to the Club, his first novel, was written under the watchful eye of his eight children (seven boys, one girl), who kept asking cute questions. The book was finished on the twentieth anniversary of Hiroshima.
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