'The Trench Angel:' World War I And The End Of Populist America

Oct 21, 2015

'The Trench Angel' is the debut novel of Michael Keenan Gutierrez, who teaches at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Credit Rebecca Ames

Neal Stephens is a photographer who returned to his hometown in Colorado after World War I to find another war raging in the little coal town: a conflict between union miners and Neal's uncle, Seamus, who runs the mine.


In the course of the labor fight, the local sheriff is found dead, and Neal stumbles across a larger conspiracy that could end his family's mining company and land him in prison for murder.


The plot is the premise of Michael Keenan Gutierrez's novel, "The Trench Angel" (Leapfrog Press/2015), which explores the American populist movement, race, and the struggle of coming back from an unpopular war.


Host Frank Stasio talks with Gutierrez, a lecturer in the English and Comparative Literature department at UNC-Chapel Hill, about his debut novel, "The Trench Angel."