Wednesday, May 16, 2007

vinamese booklist

i was asked recently to assemble a list of VN books for a young brother incarcerated and hungry for knowledge. so this is the partially annotated list i generated with the help of tuyen and loan who *actually* read the books during grad school. i am in awe of their big brains.

  • Gangster we are all looking for by Le thi Diem Thuy. fiction. refugee. plotless poignant vignettes kinda like House on Mango Street or Wild Bully Burgers
  • Before the Revolution: Vietnamese Peasants under the French by Nguyen Vinh Long b/c i hate the french and think all viet people should reconsider their francophilia. i never think of salt or tires the same way after reading this.
  • Watermark: Vietnamese American Prose & poetry edited by Monique Truong
  • Dream Shattered: Vietnamese gangs in America by Patrick Du Phuoc Long a counselor's social/cultural take on why kids join gangs
  • Even the women must fight: memories of war from north vietnam by Karen Turner
  • Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh (memoirs from a VC)
  • Novel Without A Name by ThuHuong Duong contemporary Vietnam writer, unromantic gritty look at war, got her censored
  • Diary of Dr. Dang Thuy Tram will be publish in English in 2007, the "Anne Frank" of Viet Nam, entire vietnamese text is here
out of print but really great anti-war writing from the 1970s. well worth it if you can find it.
  • We Promise One Another: Poems from an Asian War. 1971. comp. Jacqueline Chagnon & George Luce written by Vinamese folks from all sides during the war and translated into English by Chris Jenkins and chị Tuyết. her woodblock print on the dedication page is tattooed on my back.
  • Lotus in a Sea of Fire by Thich Nhat Hanh buddhist opposition to the war
  • Women and revolution in vietnam by Arlene Eisen
  • Women of vietnam by Arlene Eisen Bergman these two books are almost interchangeable.
  • Reflections from Captivity by Phan Bội Châu, Hồ Chí Minh, edited Tran Khanh Tuyet, Christopher Jenkins poetry from two famous anti-colonizer patriots
my disclaimer is that i havent read any of the below but they sound good:
  • From Both Sides Now: The Poetry of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath edited by Philip Mahoney American & Vinamese i assume
  • Viet Nam: Borderless histories edited by Nhung Tuyet Tran prolly more academicky, non nation-state look at VN history, prolly inspired by the geo-body analysis of Thongchai Winichakul in Siam Mapped
  • Vietnam an illustrated history by Shelton Woods
  • Voices of Vietnamese Boat People oral historys
  • People's History of the Vietnam war by Jonathon Neale (Howard Zinn follower, member of ISO, typical white hippy Left take on VN war)
  • The Lotus Unleashed: The Buddhist Peace Movement in South Vietnam, 1964-1966 by Robert Topmiller looks at the nonaligned third force, buddhist self-immolation against VN war
  • Patriots: the Vietnam War remembered from all sides by Christian Appy
  • Radical origins of the Vietnamese revolution
  • Communist Road to Power in Vietnam
  • Four Hours in My Lai my lai massacre
  • Vietnamese women at war: fighting for Ho Chi Minh & the revolution by Sandra Taylor
  • A country, not a war: Vietnam impressions by Harold Turner, travel writing

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