The Dog Boy, by Noel Anenberg
Price: $0.99
292 pages, with a 4.2-star rating from 10 reviews

"Terrific read! This is a clever, thoughtful and moving account of the appalling racism in post war Los Angeles revealed in the context of a poignant story of a neglected little boy and the all too human adults around him. The apparently diverse personalities come alive with humor, warmth and honesty. The reader can feel the heart of the author as this story unfold." -- Amazon reviewer
From Kirkus Reviews

"Anenberg beautifully and convincingly portrays the contradictions of American society during the period, and he ably juxtaposes Eaton's mission to save her son with stories of the past--showing a world which, despite many technological advances, has made few discernible social advances….
…In this historical novel set shortly after World War II, an African-American woman seeks to save her injured son amid racial tension and strife.
Phosie Mae Eaton leaves her home in Galveston, Texas, to visit her son, Will, a wounded U.S. Marine fresh from combat on Iwo Jima, now in a Los Angeles military hospital. Even as a Southern black woman familiar with the evils of segregated society, Eaton is stunned to discover that racial rules and regulations extend to war heroes. She finds that they are kept in a separate house from the white soldiers, banned from receiving whites' blood transfusions and aren't allowed basic amenities, such as coffee, from the Red Cross. She finds Will balancing precariously between life and death, as the gunshot wound in his stomach has festered and become infected. Doctors usually treat such infections with an easy injection of penicillin, but the hospital has no 'colored' needles due to their treatment of venereal-disease cases (which have skyrocketed due to postwar celebrations). Eaton strives to help her son in any way possible and, in order to stay in California, takes a job as a maid for a wealthy and eccentric Jewish family."

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Meet the Author

"When did I become a writer?" There was no one date. I stammered when a boy. Stammered out of fear for a brutish explosive father and a desperate hysterical mother whose moods both changed at the speed of thought. I was constantly afraid I would say the wrong thing. Words did not come. Writing and reading with comprehension were beyond reach. I first read and understood a novel when on river patrol in the Mekong Delta during the Viet Nam War, Herman Wouk's "Winds of War." Wouk's Navy commander, Victor "Pug" Henry became my first literary hero. Through great novels and plays I came to know and feel close to heroic fictional characters before I developed the capacity to trust real people. I kept my distance to protect myself. I did not trust myself, I did not trust anyone. I was alone. I found and took succor from my deepest most trusted friends who populated the great classic novels I read. Dickens' characters, David Copperfield, "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show." In William Synge's Irish play, "The Playboy of the Western World," Where Peegan Mike tells Christy a boy throttled and intimidated by his thuggish father "You should have had great people in your family, I'm thinking, with the little, small feet you have, and you with a kind of quality name, the like of what you'd find on the great powers and potentates of France and Spain...and you a fine, handsome young fellow with a noble's the poets are your like--fine, fiery fellows with great rages when their temper's aroused." My temper was aroused, vindicated. And the first line from Leo Tolstoy's splendid novel, Anna Karenina, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." I was no longer alone. Simply put, writing is the singular path I am fit to walk, words are the only clothing that fit well. It has been through literature that I have found another path, a path to love, light, and life.