Hills of the Tigers

| December 24, 2015

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Hills of the Tigers

The United States has been on the losing side of a war in an imaginary Asian country called Kulon. A peace treaty has just been signed in Paris. A veteran named Carl Norberg now lives in an east coast city called Botolph and drives a cab while he fulfills his ambition to establish himself in the art world as a painter. .

He comes in contact with various people — other artists, a librarian, the host of a late-night radio talk show, his brother Eric who is in the insurance business, and Nola, a woman he loves and with whom he.enjoys the satisfactions of romance and marriage.

He works hard. His paintings attract attention. He bases some of them on his memories of the war and others about what he’s learned of city life..He can look ahead to decades in the public eye as a respected artist. He attracts critics, however, who resent the fact that he is an outsider, that he ignores trends and goes his own way, and that he is brash and unpolished. A thief steals a half-dozen of his pictures from a gallery; a gallery that he opens himself burns down. He keeps on with his work and develops into the mature artist he dreamed of being.

Norberg also writes a memoir about his service in Kulon in which he tells about his friendship with a Kulonese artist and the artist’s family. He describes his work as an interpreter, which includes helping to interrogate prisoners of war. He takes part in a manoeuver to destroy enemy weapons in the Hills of the Tigers and spends a brief time as a prisoner. His memoir ends as the war heats up and American forces withdraw from the area they have been occupying..

Norberg’s memoir alternates with chapters about his life in Botolph and the people he gets to know there. One of my purposes in writing “The Hills of the Tigers” has been to give an example of recovery from trauma by telling the story of one veteran who overcomes the withering experience of warfare and is able to lead a productive, fruitful life and become an inspiration to others.

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