It's almost impossible to overestimate the number of superb books inspired by the relationship between Vietnam and the United States.
There are, for example, classics such as Graham Greene's "The Quiet American," Neil Sheehan's "A Bright Shining Lie," Michael Herr's "Dispatches," Robert Olen Butler's "A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain," Duong Thu Huong's "No Man's Land," and John Laurence's "The Cat From Hue."
More recently, reporter Nick Turse rocked the category with "Kill Anything That Moves," a controversial, groundbreaking investigative report alleging that the amount of murders, rapes, assaults and arson committed with impunity by U.S. soldiers during the war was monumentally greater that previously known.
With tomorrow's anniversary of the historic April 30, 1975, collapse of South Vietnam, the end of the Vietnam War and the resulting massive flight of Vietnamese to Southern California–most especially Orange County, we've compiled a list of noteworthy books for anyone interested in the subject.
Here are the books (in no particular order) that might be worth your time:
~"Black Virgin Mountain" by Larry Heinemann;
~"A Sense of Duty: Our Journey from Vietnam to America" by Quang X. Pham;
~"The Zenith" by Duong Thu Huong;
~"The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood" by Kien Nguyen;
~"Ho Chi Minh: A Life" by William J. Duiker;
~"Once Upon a Distant War" by William Prochnau;
~"Vietnamerica: A Family's Journey" by GB Tran;
~"Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An" by Larry Berman;
~"Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora" by Andrews Lam;
~"The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam" by Bao Ninh.
If you're interested in additional learning about firsthand Vietnamese American experiences, visit the University of California Irvine's online collection HERE or read the Weekly's recent profile of Thuy Vo Dang, who is the project coordinator of UCI's Vietnamese American Oral History Project.
Author email: RScottMoxley@OCWeekly.com