When Heaven and Earth Changed Places

When Heaven and Earth Changed Places

A Vietnamese Woman's Journey From War to Peace

Book - 1990
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Publisher: New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Plume, [1990]
Copyright Date: ©1989
ISBN: 9780452264175
Characteristics: xv, 368 pages ; 23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Wurts, Jay


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May 28, 2018

So much of what we know about the Vietnam War is filtered through the American experience. We think of it as, depending on your politics, as a noble failure or a criminal, immoral war of aggression. For the Vietnamese, it was much more, yet we seldom get their perspective, something that Viet Than Nguyen's excellent novel "The Sympathizer" partly remedies. Le Ly Hayslip was a peasant woman who lived through the war, went through horrific experiences (torture, rape, imprisonment), and eventually ended up in America. Her memoir is essential for any American trying to understand the personal cost of the war. Oliver Stone made a film of the book (as "Heaven and Earth"), but made the focus on here relationship with an American solider, which is only a small part of her story. It was well-meaning, but flawed and bombastic. Read the book.

Dec 03, 2011

Great to have a women's perspective. Shows how there were no clear choices for the people, when survival meant having to placate both sides. Also contains insights into the culture. Sometimes felt that Jay Wurts had too strong an influence on the writing, but if it helped her to express herself then it can only be a good thing.


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