Best Selling Author
Jon R Kerstetter
“The author’s emergence as a military doctor makes for interesting reading… but what is of greatest value in this narrative is Kerstetter’s ongoing, twofold recovery from a stroke on one hand and PTSD on the other… The author’s medical perspective on his own condition and critical therapeutic moments adds depth to an already solid story. An inspiring memoir.”
An Inspiring and Powerful Memoir
Crossings is a memoir of an improbable, powerfully drawn life, one that began in poverty on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin but grew by force of will to encompass a remarkable medical practice. Trained as an emergency physician, Kerstetter’s thirst for intensity led him to volunteer in war-torn Rwanda, Kosovo, and Bosnia, and to join the Army National Guard. His three tours in the Iraq War marked the height of the American struggle there. The story of his work in theater, which involved everything from saving soldiers’ lives to organizing the joint U.S.–Iraqi forensics team tasked with identifying the bodies of Saddam Hussein’s sons, is a bracing, unprecedented evocation of a doctor’s life at war.
But war was only the start of Kerstetter’s struggle. The stroke he suffered upon returning from Iraq led to serious cognitive and physical disabilities. His years-long recovery, impeded by near-unbearable pain and complicated by PTSD, meant overcoming the perceived limits of his body and mind and reimagining his own capacity for renewal and change. It led him not only to writing as a vocation but to a deeper understanding of how healing means accepting a new identity, and how that acceptance must be fought for with as much tenacity as any battlefield victory.
The competing tensions in Dr. Kerstetter’s life are central themes in “Crossings.” A Native American who serves in a U.S. Army cavalry unit. Hands trained to heal, but also to kill. Old enough to be his fellow soldiers’ father, but with them in battle as a brother… This is a book that is grave and pensive, but always engaging.
– The Wall Street Journal
Kerstetter has written a fascinating and nuanced edge-of-your-seat tale about the humanity of medicine amidst the inhumanity of war. Your heart will be pounding on every page. I couldn’t put this wonderful book down.
Matt McCarthy – The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly
Kerstetter’s remarkable story of courage and resilience provides a detailed look at the life and work of a combat physician… Though this is his first book, Kerstetter is a compelling writer, and not just of war stories. Kerstetter emotionally describes his recovery, the end of his medical career, and the process of relearning that led to this memoir.
— Library Journal
You May Be Interested!
Iowa Public Radio Interview
Interview on Iowa Public Radio with host, Charity Nebbe. I talk about the Crossings in my life and my transition from soldier and doctor to civilian and patient. I also discuss my stroke and my ten-year recovery and how it all ended up in my memoir, Crossings. Click Here to Listen
University of Texas Health
Interview with Dr. Byron Hepburn, Director of the Military Health institute, UT Health – San Antonio. We talk about personal resiliency as a means to healing in myself and others. Click Here to Listen
Wall Street Journal Review
The Wall Street Journal review – Looking Back at the Front, by Matt Gallagher. A timely review relecting on the meaning of two newly released books and their perspectives about war and its aftermath. “The competing tensions in Dr. Kerstetter’s life are central themes in “Crossings.” Click Here to Read
Wisconsin Book Festival
C-SPAN Book TV recorded my talk and reading at the Wiscon Book Festival in 2017. I have three short reading from Crossings. Click Here to Listen
Schedule an Event