© AJ Kane
Rita Dragonette, an award-winning public relations executive turned writer, had her debut novel, The Fourteenth of September, released in September 2018. It has been designated a winner for Women’s Fiction in the 2018 Beverly Hills Book Awards, a finalist for two American Fiction Awards by American Book Fest, a finalist for two National Indie Excellence Awards, and has received an honorable mention in the Hollywood Book Festival. She is currently working on a second novel and a memoir in essays, and hosts literary salons.
9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
State Capitol Building, House Committee Room 3
Two Women’s Perspectives on the Vietnam War: Autobiographical Fiction and a Memoir
10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
The Fourteenth of September: A Novel
On September 14, 1969, Private First Class Judy Talton celebrates her nineteenth birthday by secretly joining the campus anti-Vietnam War movement. In doing so, she jeopardizes both the army scholarship that will secure her future and her relationship with her military family. But Judy’s doubts have escalated with the travesties of the war. Who is she if she stays in the army? What is she if she leaves?
When the first date pulled in the Draft Lottery turns up as her birthday, she realizes that if she were a man, she’d have been Number One―off to Vietnam with an under-fire life expectancy of six seconds. The stakes become clear, propelling her toward a life-altering choice as fateful as that of any draftee.
The Fourteenth of September portrays a pivotal time at the peak of the Vietnam War through the rare perspective of a young woman, tracing her path of self-discovery and a “Coming of Conscience.” Judy’s story speaks to the poignant clash of young adulthood, early feminism, and war, offering an ageless inquiry into the domestic politics of protest when the world stops making sense.
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