Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Books about Vietnam

While living in Vietnam I have been extremely interested to read whatever I can about the country and its history. There are many different perspectives so whatever I read I try to keep and open mind.

I have recently finished Catfish and Mandala, a cracker of a book, where the author takes you on a bicycle journey throughout Vietnam as he searches for his identity through long ago memories of his birth country. Andrew left Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and moved to America with his family at the age of ten. This part memoir part travelogue is brilliantly written and gives the reader a great insight into the Vietnamese culture and how American-Vietnamese are accepted in today's society. Above all it shows how today, many decades after the war, that families on both sides are still coming to terms and trying to repair the harm caused.

After Catfish and Mandala I read, The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien; a work of fiction inspired by his time fighting in Vietnam. It is extremely well written and his descriptive style captures the feeling and more often than not the shocking events that took place. He contrasts life in the field to that many decades on at home in America. I read this book in two sittings.

Paradise of the Blind, is written by a Vietnamese woman, now in exile because of her anti-government views. It was the first Vietnamese book to be published in English and is banned in Vietnam. I was able to pick up a translated copy. For a detailed synopsis have a look at the below link;

I have also read the Pulitzer Winning book, Fire in the Lake. Find my post regarding this book below.

Any other suggestions on good books on anything Vietnam would be warmly welcomed.

No comments:

Post a Comment