University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

University of Delaware Library | Newark, DE 19717-5267 | (302) 831-2229


June 3 - August 19, 2005
curated by
Shaun D. Mullen

There has been an outpouring of Vietnam War literature in the 30 years since the fall of Saigon. These books range from scholarly studies to fiction, but all have one thing in common: Trying to make sense of the conflict's many ambiguities.

"Vietnam in Their Own Words" is a timely entr to Morris Library's collection of over 2,000 books pertaining to the war. Other library resources include Special Collections manuscript collections, DVDs and videotapes, maps, U.S. Government documents, Internet resources, databases and electronic journals.

This exhibit includes government reports, personal narratives and other works of non-fiction, as well as fiction, poetry, drama and photography by American soldiers and journalists and Vietnamese soldiers and citizens.

Fact and Fiction

The lines between non-fiction and fiction frequently are blurred in Vietnam War literature. These ten, all written by American veterans, include fictional accounts based on the authors' personal experiences and non-fiction that could pass for fiction because of the stylistic license the authors took.

Asa Baber.
The Land of a Million Elephants. New York: Morrow, 1970.

Lynda Van Devanter.
Home Before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam. New York: Beaufort Books, 1983.

Robert Olen Butler.
On Distant Ground: A Novel. New York: Knopf, 1985.

Tim O'Brien.
Going After Cacciato: A Novel. New York: Delacorte Press, 1978.

Philip Caputo.
A Rumor of War. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1977.

Larry Hughes.
You Can See a Lot Standing Under a Flare in the Republic of Vietnam: My Year at War. New York: Morrow, 1969.

Allen Glick.
Winters Coming, Winters Gone. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1984.

J. Holley Watts.
Who Knew? Reflections on Vietnam. Harrisonburg, Va.: J. Holley Watts, 2004.

A.R. Flowers.
De Mojo Blues: DeQuest of HighJohn de Conquerer. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1985.

The Vietnamese Perspective

Books written from the Vietnamese perspective and by Vietnamese themselves were slow to emerge after the war, but Morris Library now has about 100 such holdings.

Lm Quang Thi.
The Twenty-Five Year Century: A South Vietnamese General Remembers the Indochina War to the Fall of Saigon. Denton, Tex.: University of North Texas Press, 2001.

Le Ly Hayslip.
When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey From War to Peace. New York: Doubleday, 1989.

Tim Page.
Another Vietnam: Pictures of the War From the Other Side. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2002.

Qi 'c Nguyn.
Where the Ashes Are: The Odyssey of a Vietnamese Family. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1994.

Philip Jones Griffiths.
Agent Orange: Collateral Damage in Vietnam. London: Trolley, 2003.

Ten Dung Van.
Our Great Spring Victory: An Account of the Liberation of South Vietnam. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977.

Beyond the Norm

The Vietnam War spawned books in several literary genres. These eight books, all but one written by American veterans, include science fiction, criticism, poetry, drama and juvenile literature.

Tim O'Brien.
Enemies. Arizona: Synaesthesia Press, 2001.

David Rabe.
The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel; and Sticks and Bones: Two Plays. New York: Viking Press, 1973.

John DiFusco, Vincent Caristi, Richard Chaves, Eric E. Emerson, Rick Gallavan, Merlin Marston, Harry Stephens, Sheldon Lettich.
Tracers: A Play. New York: Hill and Wang, 1986.

Joe W. Haldeman.
The Forever War. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1975.

Eve Bunting.
The Wall. New York: Clarion Books, 1990.

Philip D. Beidler.
American Literature and the Experience of Vietnam. Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 1982.

Winning Hearts and Minds: War Poems by Vietnam Veterans. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1972.

Robert L. Barth.
Looking For Peace: Poems. Omaha: Abattoir Editions, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1985.

Just the Facts

While certain military activities were and remain classified, journalists and photographers had unprecedented access to the battlefield during the Vietnam War and historians and other scholars to military and government archives after the war.

Frances FitzGerald.
Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam. Boston: Little Brown, 1972.

David Maraniss.
They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.

John Pimlott.
Vietnam: The Decisive Battles. London: Michael Joseph, 1990.

David Douglas Duncan.
War Without Heroes. New York: Harper & Row, 1970.

Vietnam: A Pictorial Review From the Pages of Life Magazine. New York: Life, 1965.

Konrad Kellen.
Conversations With Enemy Soldiers in Late 1968/Early 1969: A Study of Motivation and Morale. Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation, 1970.

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