Originally published in 1980, Crossing Over was consistently in print for 20 years. Along the way, it received wide critical acclaim and a Pulitzer Prize nomination. Crossing Over is a hybrid of prose-poetry and flash fiction, following one man’s journey through the Vietnam War. It’s a story told in linked vignettes, some of them just a few sentences long, that stands as a boldly critical and timeless antiwar statement, praised by activist Daniel Berrigan as “recalling to an amnesiac, bewildered people the limits of crime and the grandeur of conscience.”
Long regarded as one of the Vietnam Era’s most evocative literary works, Crossing Over has been cited by Library Journal as a ‘Best of the Small Presses,’ and has been adapted numerous times for both stage and radio (including a powerful performance by inmate-veterans at Raiford State Prison in Florida).
Praise for Crossing Over
“I read Crossing Over with a heart that sank and lifted with these tides of passion, affliction, exaltation. It is truly minimal art, in which the less is the more. This little book wounds one with a glimpse into the depths, the horrors of which we are capable. At the same it heals … I thank Richard Currey for recalling to an amnesiac, bewildered people the limits of crime and the grandeur of conscience.”
Crossing Over is both beautiful and terrifying … it is a work of art, the commonplace book for a terrible era.
A dazzling writer, almost making you shield your eyes as you read … Richard Currey achieves a stark immediacy that makes you wince.
— London Sunday Times
Through sensitive characterizations and a humane, ear-piercing understanding, Richard Currey unravels tales that harbor a depth steeped in the colors of the human spirit.
“For a generation of Americans the War in Vietnam was an indelible, defining experience. It shapes the way we vote (or don’t vote) now. It accounts for our cynicism. It is an unstopped social reservoir of pain … there will be Vietnam stories for a long time, tracing the wound, reminding us. Our national neurosis is that we want to forget. But good sense tells us that health lies in remembering. Richard Currey’s book helps us to remember. His technique is pointillist: brief, strong images, images that are like statements, statements that tell a story of confusion and fear and violence and pain. The style is intense, compressed, insistent. Joseph Conrad said, “My task is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel, and it is, before all, to make you see.” Currey’s remarkable art, like Conrad’s, is that in such a short volume he has made us hear and feel, and the effect is that we see. Vietnam is a complicated story that will speak to us in many voices for a very long time. Currey’s is one true, resonant voice.”
–North American Review