Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai witnessed firsthand the developments in Vietnam during the tumultuous era of French occupation and the Vietnam War. The richness of her homeland, along with the intensity of her activities, combine to provide a vivid portrait of Vietnam over the past half century.
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Raised in a large upper-middle class family, Nguyen (who was born in 1931) begins her memoir as a contented adolescent under a rubber tree in the countryside outside Saigon. She goes on to recount her 1945 participation in a guerrilla group-whose members shared "the same traditional Vietnamese values"-marriage, four children, entrepreneurship, and, finally, her living on and off in the United States (Nguyen considers herself an "overseas Vietnamese"). Throughout, the lifelong influences of Catholicism and the French for whom her engineer-father worked are apparent, but her roles as a publisher and peace activist are not made clear. The final chapter relies on such works as Phillip Davidson's Vietnam at War (LJ 4/22/88) and Frank Snepp's Decent Interval (LJ 2/15/78), available in Vietnamese. Libraries with ample budgets may consider this.
Helen Rippier Wheeler, formerly of Univ. of California-Berkeley, SLIS
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"all too rare addition to the insightful literature of contemporary Vietnam. Recommended" -- Indochina Chronology
"the well-written memoir of a Vietnamese woman who witnessed the successive political upheavals of Vietnamese society...recounts [experiences which this vivacious girl went through] with utter candor and delight...succeeds in giving the Vietnamese viewpoint as well as insights into Vietnamese psychology" -- THE KY
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Book Description Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110899509541