What Genre is the DNR Trilogy?
When asked if there’s a specific genre where one might pigeon-hole the DNR Trilogy, that is truly a difficult question to answer, as the scope of this work of fiction is rather broad. Perhaps by design or maybe rather by accident, this novel transects many genres, including historical fiction, medical drama, crime and punishment, and also sin, redemption, and perhaps even salvation. It has also unintentionally turned out to be a probe into the roots of evil that all too often embroil the human condition. Tribalism and racism, as perpetuated by modern progressive ideology, are also obvious undertones in this novel. Hopefully individuals who tackle this trilogy (black, white, brown, or otherwise) will have an opportunity to reflect on their own complex relationships with their fellow humans who occupy this small blue orb in the Milky Way galaxy. One may also find a teaspoon of mysticism sprinkled into the mix, with regard to the expressed conviction that everything in the universe seems to be connected somehow.
Although this book was not initially intended to be a tome that would fall directly into the realm of classic Judeo-Christian spirituality, I would not be surprised if this novel were publicly received as such, as the strained relationship between humankind and God is addressed throughout this treatise (if indeed such a relationship still exists within the moral vagaries of the modern, post-theistic epoch in which humankind now largely finds itself). After all, does God still care, much less ever intercede anymore, in the various and sundry self-destructive activities perpetrated by humankind? If the end result of human behavior to date is evaluated as a surrogate barometer to ascertain the possible likelihood of whether divine intervention may occasionally occur, even in extremely remote circumstances, the answer to this philosophical and theological query may indeed be a resounding and unequivocal no! If that sadly is indeed the case, then we have nobody left to blame in the universe but ourselves.
The bulk of this fictional novel occurs over a compressed two-year time frame in the early 1980s, but the events portrayed in this story are largely inspired by clinical and historical occurrences that I witnessed over half of a century. Except for obvious exceptions regarding true public figures and factual historical events that have been woven into the fabric of this story, the other names, hospital settings, and precise clinical details that are mentioned in this novel have been thoroughly fictionalized to protect the true identities of the individuals and institutions portrayed, be they innocent, guilty, living or dead.
Orwellian in its scope and intent, and I hope the reader will be as deeply disturbed in reading this book as the author was in writing it!