CHICAGO — “Pacific Glory” by P.T. Deutermann, published by St. Martin’s Press, is the winner of the 2012 W. Y. Boyd Literary Award “for Excellence in Military Fiction.”
The W. Y. Boyd Literary Novel Award honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. The $5,000 award and citation, donated by author W.Y. Boyd II, recognizes the service of American veterans and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction.
P.T. Deutermann’s novel, Pacific Glory, is a riveting account of naval action in the Pacific during World War II from Guadalcanal to Leyte Gulf. The author has drawn upon his experience as a Navy captain and that of his father, a veteran of World War II who later rose to the rank of vice admiral before retiring.
The book is written to convey the individual and shared experiences of the three main characters: two Naval Academy graduates and a Navy nurse. One of the graduates is a surface officer and the other a Naval aviator. The nurse is stationed at Pearl Harbor and is working at the Naval Hospital. The “hell” of war is exactly what these three endure. The reader is drawn into each of the three main characters’ lives and given, from their perspective, a horrific picture of the “fog of war,” the devastation of war and the suffering of the wounded and the magnitude of those killed.
The naval actions on the sea and in the air at Guadalcanal, Midway and Samar (Leyte Gulf) are very graphic and very realistic. The courage and fighting determination of the men on the naval ships in the latter action, especially the destroyers, is a David and Goliath moment in history. The four destroyers fought against the Japanese cruisers and the biggest battleships they had and somehow saved the invasion fleet. For their heroism most of those men made the supreme sacrifice.
The author’s notes at the end of the book are a must read, especially his talk with Bull Halsey. The book is well written and does great honor to all who served in the Pacific theater during World War II.
The members of the W. Y. Boyd Jury overwhelmingly selected "Pacific Glory" for this year’s award. The annual award will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. on June 24th.
Members of the W. Y. Boyd Literary Award are Robert Schnare, Naval War College, Newport, R. I. (retired), Lawrence Clemens, United States Naval Academy, Nimitz Library, Annapolis, Md., John G. Jaffee, Sweet Brier College, Sweet Brier, Va., Maxine Reneker, Monterey, Calif. and Ronald Steensland, Panama City, Fla.
The deadline for submissions of applications for the 2013 W.Y. Boyd Literary Award is December 1, 2012. Guidelines and applications are available on the ALA website.