Books for Vietnam

Old Apr 13th, 2011, 06:56 PM
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Books for Vietnam

I never sleep on planes so I always have to have at least one book for the flight over and one for the flight back. Just got a Kindle and want to load it with books for our upcoming trip to Vietnam. Any thoughts on novels set in Vietnam that would be good plane reads? I like to get myself in the mood for the country I am visiting by reading a book set in that country (at least in part).
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 07:38 PM
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Anthony Grey's SAIGON
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 07:56 PM
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The Eaves of Heaven
Catfish and Mandala both by Andrew Pham

I read them before and during our recent trip to Vietnam and enjoyed them both.
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 08:06 PM
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The Quiet American by Graham Greene.

Do you read non fiction? A Bright and Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan and The Girl in the Picture. (Can't remember the author) come to mind. I second Anthony Grey's Saigon.
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 08:46 PM
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I read the following books and enjoyed them both although I think I enjoyed the Sacred Willow best.

Catfish and mandala- a vietnamese odyssey by Andrew pham - he was born in vietnam but left as a young child, growing up in USA. He returns to vietnam in his early 20s travelling on his bicycle around the country revisiting places and relatives of his youth. A interesting yarn with a few twists. (PBC library has it)

"the sacred willow- four generations in the life of a vietnamese family" - Elliott, Duong Van Mai - Another book with more history but explaining what happened over 4 generations from the time of the mandarins through to fall of saigon and the aftermath of communism and the effects on the four generations of Vietnamese.
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Old Apr 14th, 2011, 04:15 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...-book-list.cfm
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Old Apr 14th, 2011, 06:34 AM
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Saigon - Anthony Grey
Three Moons in Vietnam - Maria Coffey
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Old Apr 14th, 2011, 03:09 PM
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When Heaven and Earth Changed Places by Le Ly Hayslip.

This was by far my favorite book of Vietnam. I wanted to grasp what living in Vietnam was like for the Vietnamese during the "American War" --as they call it. Well, little did I know the impact this book would have upon me. WOW..... I could hardly put it down. This book is an autobiography of a women who survived the terror of the Vietnam War many times over. Her life as a young child, secure, happy and loved unwinds in an unbelievable way. She is a survivor--and has the grit and determination to live through this terrible time. I learned a great deal about the Vietnamese reading this book.....their culture....the impact many, many years of war has had upon them. It gave me a great deal of insight into what war can do to a people and their country. It would keep you occupied on your flight!!
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Old Apr 14th, 2011, 03:14 PM
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I strongly recommend reading THE SACRED WILLOW (above) and WHEN HEAVEN AND EARTH CHANGED PLACES as a matched set. The former gives you the point of view of the upper class, while the latter provides the working-class point of view on the same period of time. You need both perspectives.

THE SACRED WILLOW is, in my opinion, slower, dryer read while WHEN HEAVEN... is a page-turner.
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Old Apr 14th, 2011, 05:03 PM
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Check ekscrunchy's thread given above. Since my post there I've read Camilla Gibbs' BEAUTY OF HUMANITY MOVEMENT (2010), set in contemporary Hanoi and during the 1950s. Excellent "pho" lore, among other things conveying the atmosphere of the streets and back alleys of the city!
The other novels mentioned on the other thread I read on a Kindle during a recent trip to Vietnam. Enjoy!
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Old Apr 14th, 2011, 05:10 PM
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THE LOVER by Margeurite Duras--a beautiful and very spare (as all of Duras' novels are)novel set during the French colonial period. The film is also lovely.

These I've only scanned but came well-recommended:

NF--HO CHI MINH William J. Duiker--it's quite long, but well-written and insightful.

THE CAT FROM HUE John Laurence--this is about the Vietnam (or American War as it's called in VN) War.

VIETNAM, NOW A reporter Returns David Lamb The return of a journalist to cover the peace.
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Old Apr 14th, 2011, 06:12 PM
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Graham Greene The Quiet American (as mentioned above) is a classic of atmosphere and heartbreak. Foreshadows American military involvement. I re-read it regularly.

I once became obsessed with Vietnamese war fiction and reporting. Among the best:
Fields of Fire, James Webb
The Things they Carried, Tim O'Brien
Dispatches, Michael Herr

Also Tobias Wolff and Robert Olen Butler have written some very good short stories about their experiences.
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Old Apr 17th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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Thanks SO much everyone. I will check these out and download them onto my Kindle.
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Old Feb 19th, 2016, 09:58 AM
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Hello,
Not sure if this is too late but I wrote a book that is set in Vietnam for a part of it. I was working there at a hospital during the war.
You can find my autobiographical novel here http://www.amazon.com/Breadline-Alai.../dp/B00HUOU4EQ
Hope you enjoy if you decide to read it!
AD
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