By blending the eyewitness accounts of letters with historical fiction, ANIMAL DANCES creates an engaging story of a young man conscripted into war, who discovers an unknown capacity to be bold and decisive, while enduring unimaginable hardship. Before the war, he and Fannie cavorted carefree and rebellious with indecent abandon to the ragtime beat of the Animal Dances. That is a distant memory now as Harry struggles to survive the devastation of the Western Front while driving a wagon carrying a lethal cargo. Back home, his family grapples with a killing flu, and Fannie seeks to ease her fear that he will not come home. Surviving the searing yellow gas, Harry returns to find nothing the same, and only his war buddies save him from horrible memories. As life passes, he asks if it could have been different. This is a WWI story beyond the trenches, where men toil in constant danger, in a conflict that will impact them for a lifetime. Animal Dances is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle.
Jim Saunders is a retired Professor of Otolaryngology, Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of
Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, and holds advanced degrees in Experimental Psychology from Connecticut College and Sensory Psychology from Princeton University. Faculty appointments were held at Monash University in Australia and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His career was recognized with the Claude Pepper Award for outstanding research from the National Institutes on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Dean’s award for outstanding Leadership in the School of Medicine. His scientific efforts were directed to studying the biological mechanisms of normal hearing and hearing loss. He continues to lecture on the topic of Hearing Loss in the Elderly and is active on the Board of Trustees of the Hearing Loss Association of America. An avid fisherman, kayaker, stamp collector, and world traveler, he relishes in telling of his adventures. The families of his two sons and their three granddaughters enrich his life. He lives with his wife Elaine, of fifty years, in a 106 year-old house in the Philadelphia suburbs.