The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family

The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family

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by Duong Van Mai Elliott
     
 

In The Sacred Willow, Mai Elliott tells the story of her family over four generations, from the 19th century to the present. She takes us back to the vanished world where her great-grandfather, Duong Lam, rose from poverty to become a mandarin at the imperial court. She tells of childhood hours spent in her grandmother's silk shop - and of hiding while French troops… See more details below

Overview

In The Sacred Willow, Mai Elliott tells the story of her family over four generations, from the 19th century to the present. She takes us back to the vanished world where her great-grandfather, Duong Lam, rose from poverty to become a mandarin at the imperial court. She tells of childhood hours spent in her grandmother's silk shop - and of hiding while French troops torched her village, watching blossoms torn by fire from the trees fluttering "like hundreds of butterflies" overhead. She reveals the agonizing choices that split Vietnamese families: while her father, loyal to his mandarin heritage, served the French colonial regime, her eldest sister joined the Communist guerillas and vanished for years into the jungle. Finally, Mai traces her family's journey through some of the most harrowing events of recent times - the fall of Saigon, the exodus of the boat people, and the re-education camps endured by those who were left behind.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195124347
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
04/08/1999
Pages:
544
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.80(d)
Lexile:
1190L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Maps
Family Tree
1A Burial in the Night3
2Shut Gate and High Walls35
3The Silk Merchant53
4French Veneer, Confucian Soul69
5Taxes, Floods, and Robbers83
6The Third Month in the Year of the Famine103
7The Head on the Roof137
8Into the Resistance Zone157
9Poison and Bribes189
10The Fall of a Border Garrison215
11Sifting Through the Rubble243
12The New Mecca273
13Just Cause301
14Short Peace, Long War337
15Flying into the Unknown373
16The Spoils of Victory405
17The Hours of Gold and Jade433
Epilogue: Across the Four Seas463
Bibliography475
Index481

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