Selected Literature From Viet Nam
The following list offers compelling novels, short stories, and poetry by Vietnamese, American and Vietnamese-Americans. For useful and exciting individual stories and poems for high school and college classes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sorrow of War - Bao Ninh. A loving Hanoi youth comes of age in war’s agonies.
Past Continuous – Nguyen Khai. Intricacies of North Vietnamese strategies through multiple views: a Catholic priest, a secret agent, a female battlion commander.
Against The Flood – Ma Van Khang. Controversial novel of war and sexual politics.
Time Far Past – Le Luu. Rare in-depth view of a caring communist’s return from war.
She Weeps Each Time You’re Born - Quan Barry. A girl speaks with the dead who help her reconstruct routs of French and American armies towards a liberated Vietnam.
The Zenith – Duong Thuy Huong . Vietnam’s most controversial author poignantly shows the last days of Ho Chi Minh in a powerhouse, tumultuous story. Other fine works include Paradise of The Blind, No Man’s Land, Novel Without A Name, Memories of Spring, and Beyond Illusion. A gripping and fearless writer.
The Stars, The Earth, The River- Le Minh Khue. A young bomb detonator finds love.
The Cemetery At Chua Village and Other Stories - Doan Le. A leading feminist hilariously satires bureaucracy, including botched burials of generals and peasants.
The General Retires and Other Stories. Nguyen Huy Thiep. Postwar difficulties.
An Insignificant Family - Da Ngan. Complex story of war’s affect on families.
The Reeducation of Cherry Truong –Aimee Pham. A Vietnamese-American woman goes to Vietnam to seek and discover decades-old family secrets.
Behind The Red Mist – Ho Anh Thai. One of Vietnam’s leading writers (He also wrote the novel Woman On The Island).
Distant Road - Nguyen Duy. A leading war and post-war poet.
The Secret of Hoa Sen – Nguyen Pham Que Mai. Vistas of healing, wounds to lotus.
The Time Tree - Huu Thinh. Beautiful poems blending everyday lives and legends.
Women Carrying River Water- Nguyen Quan Thieu. Celebrating Vietnam’s women.
Selected American Literature of The Viet Nam War
The Alleys of Eden – Robert Olen Butler. A soldier deserts with his Vietnamese lover.
Good Scent From An Enemy Mountain . Robert Olen Butler. Pulitzer Prize winner.
The Gods Go Begging. Alfredo Vea. Double San Francisco murders, including a Vietnamese woman, force an attorney to revisit a horrific siege on a hill in Vietnam.
Indian Country- Phil Caputo. A wife watched her PTSD husband wire his front yard.
Paco’s Story - Larry Heineman. A Latino private barely survives a hellish battle.
De Mojo Blues- A.R. Flowers. Three black soldiers are dishonorably discharged.
The People Of The Whale- Linda Hogan. An Indian war hero returns his medals.
The Things We Do To Make It Home- Beverly Gologorsky. War lives of vets’ wives.
In Country – Bobbie Ann Mason. A girl keeps a lookout on her haunted uncle.
In The Lake Of The Woods- Tim Obrien- Secret war horros quash a rising young politician’s career. (Also, The Things They Carried, sterling short stories).
Machine Dreams – Jayne Anne Phillilps. A sister tracks her brother at war.
Fire and Rain - Oswaldo Rivera. Racial tensions among Vietnam GIs explode.
Bloods- Walter Terry. These oral histories read like an intense suspense novel.
The Quiet American – Graham Greene. Too quiet? 1955 pub. date tells us what?
The Moon Reflected – Doug Anderson. Outstanding poems of the war, its aftermath.
Dien Cai Dau- Yusef Koumanyakaa. Dynamic trenchant poems.
Human Shrapnel –Bill Shields – Astonishingly intense poems’ screaming jumps out.(
Playing Basketball With the Viet Cong- Kevin Bowen. One of the best titles EVER.
Obscenities- Michael Casey. Pithy, blunt. Yale Younger Poets Prize 1971. Deserved
Song of Napalm –Bruce Weigl. Searing poems of the war.
A lifelong civil rights and antiwar writer and activist, Ernie Brill is the author of I Looked Over Jordan And Other Stories He has pioneered global literature curriculum.