Special Collections Department
University of Delaware Library | Newark, DE 19717-5267 |
VIETNAM IN THEIR OWN WORDS
June 3 - August 19, 2005
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 entré 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.
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.
Going After Cacciato: A Novel. New York: Delacorte Press, 1978.
A Rumor of War. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1977.
You Can See a Lot Standing Under a Flare in the Republic of Vietnam: My Year at War.
New York: Morrow, 1969.
Winters Coming, Winters Gone. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1984.
J. Holley Watts.
Who Knew? Reflections on Vietnam. Harrisonburg, Va.: J. Holley Watts, 2004.
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.
Lâm 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.
Another Vietnam: Pictures of the War From the Other Side. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2002.
Qúi Ðú'c Nguyên.
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.
Tîen 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.
Enemies. Arizona: Synaesthesia Press, 2001.
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.
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.
Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam. Boston: Little Brown, 1972.
They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.
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.
Conversations With Enemy Soldiers in Late 1968/Early 1969: A Study of Motivation and Morale.
Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation, 1970.