Author Richard L. Hartness takes readers on a journey of an intriguing exploration of one of the most crucial periods of his life history: his own search for his father and how this discovery enabled him to connect to his own identity in his book “Someday… You’ll Know!”
Growing up, Richard felt that his father was not his absent actual ‘father’. When he asked his mother about his real father, his mom replied: “He went off to war and never came back.” When Richard pressed for more, his mother went on to say: “Someday, you’ll know.”
Gregory Hansen, a professor of folklore and English at the Arkansas State University, described Richard’s approach to writing as one that blends autobiography, social history, and heritage studies using an approach termed “autoethnography.”
“As an autoethnography, Hartness uses his own experiences and a piecing together of his own life history to illustrate wider cultural dynamics and ways of experiencing both the past and the present within cultural contexts,” writes Prof. Hansen.
Prof. Hansen lauded the story’s way of revealing cultural values during the period of World War II as well as a complex account of ways that caring people could construct impressive fiction to sort out prevalent issues of that day.
“Hartness’s own story is unique, but readers will gain insight into beliefs and attitudes from a different era of society that has wider resonance to American history and culture. The autoethnographic approach continues to work well as Hartness pieces the past events together and then extends his search for his own identity into the present,” Prof. Hansen states.
On the other hand, Russell P. Baker, editor of the Arkansas Family Historian, described Richard’s book as an “inspirational story” that lies deep within everyone.
“This little book is a book about family history. It is also the story of a near-tragic love affair. However, at its heart, it is an inspirational story about a quest that lies deep within all of us “Who am I and where do I come from,” he wrote in a review.
“Someday… You’ll Know!” currently has a 5/5 global rating on Amazon, with readers commending the book’s rich text and how Richard brought the story to life through descriptive writing.
A native of Wynne, Cross County, Arkansas, Richard graduated WHS in 1962. While his early interests in math and the military pushed him to earn an undergraduate BS degree in math and an Army ROTC Corps of Engineer second lieutenant’s commission (1968) from Arkansas State University, history and English composition have continued to be his major interests.
Richard received an Army Commendation Medal for his involvement with V Corps G-2 Section during the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Since then, he received a Lifetime Certification (CPM) in Supply Chain Management (2004) and completed two MA degrees (history 1978; heritage studies 2014).
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