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The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family / Edition 2
     

The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family / Edition 2

4.0 5
by Mai Elliott
 

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ISBN-10: 0195137876

ISBN-13: 9780195137873

Pub. Date: 04/28/2000

Publisher: Oxford University Press

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Duong Van Mai Elliott's The Sacred Willow illuminates recent Vietnamese history by weaving together the stories of the lives of four generations of her family. Beginning with her great-grandfather, who rose from rural poverty to become an influential landowner, and continuing to the present, Mai Elliott traces her family's journey

Overview

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Duong Van Mai Elliott's The Sacred Willow illuminates recent Vietnamese history by weaving together the stories of the lives of four generations of her family. Beginning with her great-grandfather, who rose from rural poverty to become an influential landowner, and continuing to the present, Mai Elliott traces her family's journey through an era of tumultuous change. She tells us of childhood hours in her grandmother's silk shop, and of hiding while French troops torched her village, watching while blossoms torn by fire from the trees flutter "like hundreds of butterflies" overhead. She makes clear the agonizing choices that split Vietnamese families: her eldest sister left her staunchly anti-communist home to join the Viet Minh, and spent months sleeping in jungle camps with her infant son, fearing air raids by day and tigers by night. And she follows several family members through the last, desperate hours of the fall of Saigon-including one nephew who tried to escape by grabbing the skid of a departing American helicopter. Based on family papers, dozens of interviews, and a wealth of other research, this is not only a memorable family saga but a record of how the Vietnamese themselves have experienced their times.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195137873
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2000
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
576,663
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Maps
Family Tree
1. A Burial in the Night
2. Shut Gate and High Walls
3. The Silk Merchant
4. French Veneer, Confucian Soul
5. Taxes, Floods, and Robbers
6. The Third Month in the Year of the Famine
7. The Head on the Roof
8. Into the Resistance Zone
9. Poison and Bribes
10. The Fall of a Border Garrison
11. Sifting Through the Rubble
12. The New Mecca
13. Just Cause
14. Short Peace, Long War
15. Flying Into the Unknown
16. The Spoils of Victory
17. The Hours of Gold and Jade
Epilogue: Across the Four Seas
Bibliography
Index
Preface
Acknowledgments
Maps
Family Tree
1. A Burial in the Night
2. Shut Gate and High Walls
3. The Silk Merchant
4. French Veneer, Confucian Soul
5. Taxes, Floods, and Robbers
6. The Third Month in the Year of the Famine
7. The Head on the Roof
8. Into the Resistance Zone
9. Poison and Bribes
10. The Fall of a Border Garrison
11. Sifting Through the Rubble
12. The New Mecca
13. Just Cause
14. Short Peace, Long War
15. Flying Into the Unknown
16. The Spoils of Victory
17. The Hours of Gold and Jade
Epilogue: Across the Four Seas
Bibliography
Index

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The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In our busy lives, only our immediate family ties are, at times, reglegated priority. This author, however, writes of four generations of her people and how their lives, their educations, relationships, and, most of all, their sacred settings in her homeland of Vietnam have shaped who she is and who generations of Vietnamese both at home and abroad are in relation to their tumultuous history. Unfortunately, it is easy to become immune to the frequent war and human upheaval news a world away as it drones away each night on the evening news. This family story made me sit down, read the truth of a family, of ideologies, of the corrupt on both sides, of hard work, of hope, and of beginning anew while never forgetting what brings us to where we are presently. I truly hated for the book to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
--There is no better book for understanding how the wars (WW II, French, American) affected the Vietnamese people. The author's family had wealth, influence and education, so her perspective differs significantly from that of Le Ly Hayslip (When Heaven & Earth Change Places), who grew up in a peasant family. But there is no 'right' or 'best' perspective on the wars or their effects--all sides are valid. -- What this reviewer found most fascinating were the author's cultural values and cross-cultural insights. She enables us to see how many Vietnamese regarded the traumatic events of their last century, how they regarded the foreigners (French, Japanese and Americans), and especially, how we often misunderstood the Vietnamese. -- Read this book, then read Duong Thu Huong's 'Paradise of the Blind' for another account of how people endured the 1940's thru 1970's. Both writers are brilliant!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is good if you like to read historical books. The beginning reads like a novel, but the last part is like a history book with dates. I lost interest in the last half.