The Innocent

Fithian Press, Santa Barbara, California, 1997
ISBN 1-56474-230-X

In this groundbreaking novel about gays in the military in the Vietnam War, Captain Matthew Fairchild is a desk officer in Saigon, dedicated to serving his flag. He is also gay, a fact that he must keep hidden from his commanding officer, the U.S. Army, and in fact the whole world, except for Nhan . . .

“Romantic illusions are here artfully tilted into vivid disarray as the young hero learns that secrets and lies prevail, war is a series of terrible betrayals, and that love comes in the embrace of a man. The innocent of the title matures into a man of profound understanding and conscience, illustrated in the book’s satisfying conclusion. Told in prose as clear as running water, this is a work that wins the full attention, affection, and admiration of the reader.” – Helen Yglesias


“Hats off to Robert Taylor for an amazingly well-written account of not only gays in the military but also the Vietnamese society, culture, and people in realistic terms. This book will surely make many of us cry as it reveals so much of our identity as a people and as a country.”

– A reader from the Vietnamese community in Northern California, October 1998.

“Taylor tells his story freshly, with directness and clarity. He has something important to say about life experiences, global and personal, and he says it powerfully.”

Maine Sunday Telegram on The Innocent

“Fascinating . . . Taylor keeps always within view of the reader the contrast between the stunning natural beauty of the exotic terrain and the terrible devastation being wreaked upon it in the name of freedom. A simple theme but Taylor makes it work to powerful effect.”

Hartford Advocate on The Innocent