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Born at the close of WWII, Mai Nguyen grows up in a close, loving family in a small village near Hue, Vietnam. Her relatives fought against the French forces in the 1950s, and she eventually follows in their footsteps during the Vietnam War as a nationalist who opposes the Vietnam government forces and the Americans. She is a member of the National Liberation Front, also known as the Viet Cong. By 1968, she is also the sole survivor of her family. In The Shadows of the River paints a vivid picture of Hue, Vietnam, and the majestic Perfume River. It explores the conflict and horrors of war, and documents Mai's own journey through her wartime role and subsequent rehabilitation. She experiences a transformation of character and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Medical treatment eventually allows her to return to Hue, where she helps her fellow countrymen cope and adjust to trauma and injuries in the aftermath of the Vietnam War into the 21st century and beyond. As an artist and storyteller at Hue University, where her manuscript is translated into English and other languages, Mai shares her amazing story-a tale that is rich in compassion and provides a dramatic and visually dynamic look at the psychology of war.