The Sacred Willow

The Sacred Willow

Four Generations in the Life of A Vietnamese Family

Book - 1999
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Duong Van Mai Elliott's The Sacred Willow, an extraordinary narrative woven from the lives of four generations of her family, illuminates fascinating--and until now unexplored--strands of Vietnamese history. Beginning with her great-grandfather, who rose from rural poverty to become an influential mandarin, and continuing to the present, Mai Elliott traces her family's journey through an era of tumultuous change. She tells us of childhood hours in her grandmother's silk shop--and of hiding while Frenchtroops torched her village, watching blossoms torn by fire from the trees flutter "like hundreds of butterflies" overhead. She reveals the agonizing choices that split Vietnamese families: her eldest sister left her staunchly anti-communist home to join the Viet Minh, and spent months sleeping withher infant son in jungle camps, fearing air raids by day and tigers by night. And she follows several family members through the last, desperate hours of the fall of Saigon--including one nephew who tried to escape by grabbing the skid of a departing American helicopter. Based on family papers, dozens of interviews, and a wealth of other research, this is not only a memorable family saga, but a record of how the Vietnamese themselves have experienced their times. At times haunting, at times heartbreaking--it is always mesmerizing--The Sacred Willow will foreverchange how we view the history of Vietnam and our own role in it.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 1999
ISBN: 9780195124347
Characteristics: xvi, 506 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm


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May 31, 2013

Apparently sincere attempt at recounting a Vietnamese family member's experiences over four generations. Author has excelent English & narative skills. It does cover personal experiences for the War of independence from the French & also what the Vietnamese call "The American War", the one they had with the Americans, who were under the QUESTIONABLE intent & leadership of Lyndon Bains Johnson. In this, Mai's family were devided, she had a bro, on each side! While she had worked for Rand Corporation, interviewing surrendered VC (on motivation, methods, the like?). PGR!


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Aug 03, 2013

zxm thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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