When Heaven & Earth Changed Places

4.1 avg rating
( 2,623 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780385247580: When Heaven & Earth Changed Places
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

It is said that in war heaven and earth change places not once, but many times.When Heaven and Earth Changed Places is the haunting memoir of a girl on the verge of womanhood in a world turned upside down. The youngest of six children in a close-knit Buddhist family, Le Ly Hayslip was twelve years old when U.S. helicopters langed in Ky La, her tiny village in central Vietnam. As the government and Viet Cong troops fought in and around Ky La, both sides recruited children as spies and saboteurs. Le Ly was one of those children.

Before the age of sixteen, Le Ly had suffered near-starvation, imprisonment, torture, rape, and the deaths of beloved family members—but miraculously held fast to her faith in humanity. And almost twenty years after her escape to Ameica, she was drawn inexorably back to the devastated country and family she left behind. Scenes of this joyous reunion are interwoven with the brutal war years, offering a poignant picture of vietnam, then and now, and of a courageous woman who experienced the true horror of the Vietnam War—and survived to tell her unforgettable story.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Le Ly Hayslip (born Phùng Thị Lệ Lý) is a Vietnamese-American memoirist and humanitarian.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Twenty-five years ago, the book you hold in your hands, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, was joined by two sister nar­ratives. One was named Child of War, Woman of Peace, my account of my early years as a refugee in America and my first attempts to help survivors in my still-troubled homeland. The other was called Heaven & Earth, a glamorous Hollywood relative, that retold both stories to movie audiences around the world. Their strange and wonderful jour­neys continue to this day.
 
Here in the West, we celebrate a quarter century as a “silver” anni­versary. For me and my print and film daughters, it is a very suitable color. As you’ve seen in these pages, I grew up near a beach lined with silver sand while silver clouds swirled overhead: sometimes bright with sunshine, sometimes dark with smoke and summer monsoons. When I came to America in 1970, the terrors that clouded my life found sil­ver linings in three growing sons and a chance to help the Vietnamese half a world away who had not shared my good fortune. As my story reached millions more on the printed page and silver screen, I began to see old truths with new eyes: through the lens of wisdom that only comes with age.

In 2006, as my mother’s old gray head lay on a shabby pillow at Danang General Hospital, my three elder sisters, my brother, and I surrounded her bed in a vigil as old as time: waiting stoically for the moment our loved one moves on, whether back to the world of the living or onward to the realm of her ancestors. Mama Du was 102, thin as a reed, and almost drained of the sap of life: a stalk of rice with no more grains to give. As I watched her life begin to ebb, I saw another circle being closed. Her sickbed was in a hospital built two years before by the humanitarian organization I founded in 1988 but is now entrusted to other hands. Like every Vietnamese hospital, its rooms and corridors are filled with patients’ families. Some help the nurses with the sick, but most just tend their loved ones, bringing food from home with smiles and tears.
 
Independent to the last, Mama whispers that she wants to leave this life on her own terms: at home in her bed, surrounded by friends and family. With my sisters and brother, I look for someone to discharge her, but it is Reunification Day, a public holiday in Vietnam, so there are no nurses or orderlies to help. We finally find an army stretcher and, taking care to keep her oxygen tube and IV in place, bring her home ourselves in an old hired Dodge van, another relic of the war. Neigh­bors and distant relations—even the village herbalist, the monks, and the wizards who mediate between the living and the dead—catch sight of our van and gather at our door to meet us. Before we let them in, my sisters and I bathe and shampoo Mama and dress her in finery that befits the grand journey she is about to take. She is now beyond speech, but her smile shows that she hears us singing as we work, recounting family lore about the old days in Ky La: how Mama and Papa met and married, and how, together, they survived the long fall through two wars and the loss of family and a way of life.
 
As Mama’s spirit prepares to leave, guests and mourners glide past her bed, saying good-bye and giving us, her children (including our brother Bon, now bent and gray like the other village elders), advice for the coming funeral. They want the ceremonies to go just-so, with no confusion about the rituals or interference from troublesome ghosts. When they’ve had their say and resume their vigil outside, my sisters and I sort through the small aluminum box where Mama has kept her prize possessions: her few nice clothes, her favorite comb, fingernail clippers, and a pair of dangly earrings made by a grandchild. Among these treasures are two long-sleeved white shirts, now discolored and stiff with age. I remember Mama wearing them on special occasions, recalling only now that they were made from a GI pillowcase at the start of the American War. I swallow a sob and marvel at how much history fits into one box.
 
“We should bury this box outside the casket under Mama’s feet,” I suggest.
 
“Oh no!” Hai looks horrified. “After we go, people will only dig it up! We might as well bury gold.”
 
Disbelief shows on my face but quickly fades as I watch the vil­lagers mill around. Wars may end, wounds can heal, but scars on the soul often persist until the bearer is reborn. Fortunately, if the universe promises one thing, it’s that we all get another chance.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780525431848: When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0525431845 ISBN 13:  9780525431848
Publisher: Anchor, 2017
Softcover

9780452264175: When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace (Plume)

Plume, 1990
Softcover

9780330314411: When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Woman's Journey from War to Peace

Pan Books, 1991
Hardcover

9780330322799: Heaven and Earth - When Heaven and Earth Changed Places

Pan Bo..., 1994
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Le Ly Hayslip; Jay Wurts
Published by Doubleday (1989)
ISBN 10: 0385247583 ISBN 13: 9780385247580
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday, 1989. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0385247583

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 36.66
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.27
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Le Ly Hayslip, Jay Wurts
Published by Doubleday (1989)
ISBN 10: 0385247583 ISBN 13: 9780385247580
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday, 1989. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110385247583

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 52.31
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Le Ly Hayslip, Jay Wurts
Published by Doubleday (1989)
ISBN 10: 0385247583 ISBN 13: 9780385247580
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday, 1989. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0385247583

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 52.61
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Hayslip, Le Ly; Wurts, Jay
Published by Doubleday
ISBN 10: 0385247583 ISBN 13: 9780385247580
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
WCC Corp.
(Moorpark, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0385247583. Seller Inventory # N8-607F

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 63.82
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Hayslip, Le Ly; Wurts, Jay
Published by Doubleday
ISBN 10: 0385247583 ISBN 13: 9780385247580
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0385247583 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW99.0185953

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 69.99
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Le Ly Hayslip; Jay Wurts
ISBN 10: 0385247583 ISBN 13: 9780385247580
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BennettBooksLtd
(San Diego, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0385247583

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 79.09
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Le Ly Hayslip, Jay Wurts
Published by Doubleday (1989)
ISBN 10: 0385247583 ISBN 13: 9780385247580
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday, 1989. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0385247583

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 155.35
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Le Ly Hayslip
Published by Doubleday (1989)
ISBN 10: 0385247583 ISBN 13: 9780385247580
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Books Express
(Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday, 1989. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st - may be Reissue. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0385247583n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 214.44
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds