Education About Asia: Online Archives

The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family

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BY DUONG VAN MAI ELLIOTT
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 1999
544 PAGES, ISBN 0-1951-3787-6, PAPERBACK EDITION, 2001

Courses on the Vietnam War and Vietnam remain popular across American campuses, but there has been a dearth of literary materials from a Vietnamese point of view, originally written in English, which can be used for such courses. As the poet William Ehrhart once observed, the Vietnam War has generated the most prolific U.S. veterans’ literature in American history, so this side of the story is well represented. Academic studies on such topics as Vietnamese history, culture and society, diplomatic, military and political histories of the U.S. intervention in Vietnam, and the impact of the Vietnam War on American culture have received the broad attention of American scholars, and many of these works can be and are used for courses. But the Vietnamese side of the story from an “American” point of view is not as well known, for lack of texts.