Fiction: From the Land of Genesis by Stephen O’Shea

From the Land of Genesis

Documentarian and explorer Stephen O’Shea  has written From the Land of Genesis, a book of creative non-fiction essays offering vivid slices of post-war life. The collection is intended to illustrate the hardships of normal life after living wartime experiences. O’Shea travelled the globe interviewing veterans and taking special care to authentically portray the veteran experience at home. The result is a literary fiction and narrative nonfiction hybrid, with fictional characters and settings, but references and experiences of war that are drawn explicitly from interviews, transcripts, and source materials.

O’Shea writes on a number of widely varying lifestyles of veterans who all carry the burden of war into their new lives, wherever they have ended up. He conveys the emotions, individually and interactively, which play to his theme of depicting the reality of post-traumatic stress syndrome. He emphasizes feelings of alienation, depression, paranoia, confusion, and regret. The stories also feature glimpses of hope amidst the despairing truths, helping readers experience vicariously the extremes of the human condition.

Stephen J. O’Shea is a writer, documentarian, and (now) sailor, who tells stories to stay alive. His research for From the Land of Genesis was the catalyst for a sailing expedition around Cape Horn to raise awareness about veteran suicide rates. Having miraculously survived that feat (and transformed that journey into the feature documentary, Hell or High Seas) he’s now writing and producing stories in a number of mediums, including literature and film. ◊

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