When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace
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. Read this while I was in Vietnam. Very interesting and horrific personal account of growing up during the American War, as they call it, by a woman who as a child both worked for and was tortured by Hayslip was born a Vietnamese peasant in ; little more than 20 years later she left for the United States with an American husband.
It is said that on the day when some one woman, any woman, finally succeeds in telling the truth about her life, the world will be split in two. Millions of us are waiting for that day, watching for it, nurturing its possibility. It should be required reading in military colleges and in high schools and universities looking for broader, more personal interpretations of geo-politics. It may speak most piercingly to Asians and Amer-Asians, especially Amer-Asian children, but it should be heard by any man--and especially any woman--who cares about life on our planet. These are strong words about a book that has some troubling flaws.
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The story began during Hayslip's childhood in a small village in central Vietnam , named Ky La. Her village was along the fault line between the north and south of Vietnam, with shifting allegiances in the village leading to constant tension. She and her friends worked as lookout for the northern Vietcong. The South Vietnamese learned of her work, arrested and tortured her. After Hayslip was released from prison, however, the Vietcong no longer trusted her and sentenced her to death.