Last Night I Dreamed of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram

Last Night I Dreamed of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram

Language: English

Pages: 264

ISBN: 0307347389

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“Remarkable. . . . A gift from a heroine who was killed at twenty-seven but whose voice has survived to remind us of the humanity and decency that endure amid—and despite—the horror and chaos of war.”
—Francine Prose, O, The Oprah Magazine

Brutally honest and rich in detail, this posthumously published diary of a twenty-seven-year-old Vietcong woman doctor, saved from destruction by an American soldier, gives us fresh insight into the lives of those fighting on the other side of the Vietnam War. It is a story of the struggle for one’s ideals amid the despair and grief of war, but most of all, it is a story of hope in the most dire circumstances.

“As much a drama of feelings as a drama of war.”
—Seth Mydans, New York Times

“A book to be read by and included in any course on the literature of the war. . . . A major contribution.”
Chicago Tribune

“An illuminating picture of what life was like among the enemy guerrillas, especially in the medical community.”
—The VVA Veteran, official publication of Vietnam Veterans of America

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heart. Be joyful, let your camouflaging smile become a true smile of happiness. Don’t let people whisper, “Why is Thuy sad?” Why can I not hide the sadness behind this constant false smile? 2 June 1968 It rains this afternoon. The incessant downpour runs off the thatch roofs and the leaves, making a monotonous sound, strangely melancholic. For such a long time, I have forgotten the feelings of a Chu Van An36 student chewing on the end of a pen, listening to the teacher’s lecture,

a decisive victory. Sitting by my young brother’s side, I cannot say the things I need to say. There are too many other people around us. I am a little sad because we cannot realize all the things we desire; however, I understand you when I see your eyes, when I hear your low sigh. Dear young brother, love gives us faith, strength, and the joy of reunion, then, of course, it will also give us longing when we are apart. Therefore, why are you sad? Smile, my young brother. When will I see you

the few twigs in the center are burning. The pot goes from a boil to a simmer, then to stillness. The fire is dying, and rain is dripping into the pot. Are movie directors out there filming a scene like this? A simple scene, but it says a great deal about the crimes of war. Among the guests dodging the rain is a comrade who laughs as he regales us with a story about the old days when the enemy first started to create havoc. In those days the hamlet was populous and wealthy, only a few houses

north. No matter where I am, I always safeguard the happy memories of our family in my heart. I miss the Sundays, the wonderful birthday parties in our cozy house filled with celebrating friends. Today is also a Sunday. What is my sister doing to commemorate our birthdays?156 Surely, you remember me as well. In your joy, I know there is a part of you that misses your big sister. You cannot imagine what I am doing these days. Today in the morning, I went to work with a machete in hand; at noon,

northern wind blows in gusts, numbing me. Shivering, I run to your side. You put a sheet of parachute cloth over my shoulders, and you squeeze my hands. And I am warmed. The time of departure is not yet here. I want to delay it a little, but time does not oblige me. At a quarter to four in the morning, Thuong and I shoulder our backpacks. My young brother sees me to the gathering place. The farewell moment I recognize in his shiny dark eyes—I say good-bye to him like kin. When can I see you

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