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  • Writer's pictureHRKemp

A New Author and a Great Memoir

Updated: Oct 22, 2022

I'd like to introduce Trudy Knowles, a wonderful author who I met through an online writing community, a few years ago, .

When I first wrote and edited my novel, Deadly Secrets, I joined an online community of readers and authors. It was a way to connect, gain feedback, and help me decide the next steps in my writing journey.

On this site, we shared our works-in-progress, inviting critiques and comments. One of the bonuses was that through this process, I discovered several authors whose work I greatly admire. Some have now published several books, and some are still working on it.

Trudy Knowles is of one of the authors whose work I admired.

I was privileged to be able to read Radishes and Red Bandanas before it was published and I highly recommend it.

About the Book:

Radishes and Red Bandanas is a work of historical fiction set in the late 1960s with the backdrop of the Vietnam War protests. As Becky sits with her son in a courtroom following his arrest during Occupy Wall Street, she thinks about her life at college forty years earlier. It’s 1967 and widespread resistance against the Vietnam War rocks college campuses. Becky abandons the security of her small Kentucky hometown to spend the next four years at Lake Forest College near Chicago.

In this coming-of-age novel, Becky confronts the political and cultural turmoil of the times—protests, demonstrations, occupations, riots, assassinations, drugs, and free-love. As a woman, she will never have to fight in a war she doesn’t believe in, but the draft comes to her in its hunger for her brothers, friends, and lovers. She watches their agonizing decisions—go to Canada, jail, or Vietnam. Time and again, Becky finds love and loses it.

Forty years later, Becky’s son follows in her footsteps. Interspersed throughout the novel are vignettes of her son’s protests and arrests during the Occupy Wall Street Movement as he fights for justice in the streets of New York City.

Radishes and Red Bandanas is a story about the redemptive power of love to heal in times of tragedy and about the importance of speaking out no matter the cost.

About The Author:

In 1967, Trudy Knowles left her small town in Kentucky and headed to Lake Forest College near Chicago. She attended class, studied, joined softball games on the campus green, hung out in Hixson Lounge, played her guitar under the trees, and became involved in the anti-war movement. In the spring of 1970, Trudy attended the college’s study-abroad program in Athens, Greece, intending to return to Lake Forest for her senior year. Instead, she embarked on a trip around the world, traveling with a friend in a VW van. When the van was sold in Kabul, Afghanistan, they continued their travels for two more years using public transportation. The trip transformed her life.

Trudy completed her degree at Centre College in Kentucky, earned her master’s degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and obtained her doctorate at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She was a professor of education for twenty-five years, retiring in 2016.

As an activist since the early sixties, Trudy still protests, marches, demonstrates, writes letters, and speaks out for peace and social justice. Her life motto comes from a bumper sticker she saw in upstate New York one day, “Dance with Reckless Abandon.” She does that every day.

Trudy lives in Westfield, Massachusetts, with her husband. She has five children and four grandchildren who are the lights of her life.

Learn more and buy here

To learn more about Trudy and her other books, or just to read her blogs, you can visit her website:

My Review:

5 stars - A popignant Story
This story transports the reader back to the heady days of the protests against the Vietnam war. We see the action through Becky's eyes and experience her wins and dramatic losses. The characters are expertly drawn and three dimensional, experiencing their good points and their flaws. This page-turner is beautifully written and reveals the intense struggle of this generation as they fought for what was right with protests and resistance. We're given a tally of the terrible soldier death toll which is a chilling reminder of the cost of war, the Vietnam war in particular. A wonderful, poignant drama. I was fortunate to get an advance copy and I highly recommend this book.

Check it out for yourself.

Thank you for reading

H.R. Kemp

Author of Australian mystery thrillers with suspense and intrigue. Lethal Legacy: Deadly Secrets: Subscribe here for my monthly newsletter or connect on: Website, Facebook page, Instagram:

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