From the author of the classic National Book Award--winning novelPaco's Story, an equally classic and haunting memoir of the Vietnam War. In 1966 Larry Heinemann, a working-class twenty-two-year-old from Chicago, was drafted into the Army just as the American military buildup in Vietnam was going into overdrive. He served one year of combat duty with the 25th Infantry Division, from March 1967 to March 1968, most of it in the vicinity of Cu Chi (of tunnels fame). It was the most horrific and consequential year of his life and served as the raw material for his two subsequent classic war novels,Close QuartersandPaco's Story. The war also devastated his family. Both of his brothers served in the military, and one of them killed himself, while the other has been missing for many years. Truly, the Vietnam War altered Heinemann's life utterly and forever. Black Virgin Mountainis structured along a railway journey Larry Heinemann took in 1992 from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City as the guest of the Vietnam Writers Association and ends with a crawl through the Tunnels of Cu Chi and a climb up the sacred mountain that provides the title's namesake. From there, he can view the entire compass of his combat experience in-country (including the horrific battle in which Oliver Stone also fought and used as the bloody climax ofPlatoon). Along the way, the author encounters Vietnamese veterans of the war and views sites that trigger powerful memories. This memoir is an unforgettable threnody and a moving act of reconciliation.