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

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

by Dang Thuy Tram

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Overview

“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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307347381
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 10/07/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 357,520
Product dimensions: 7.98(w) x 5.08(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

DANG THUY TRAM was a Vietnamese doctor who volunteered at the age of twenty-four to work in a Vietcong battlefield hospital in the Quan Ngai province. In the two years she worked in the hospital before her death in 1970, she recorded all she saw and felt in the pages of her diary.

FRANCES FITZGERALD covered the Vietnam War for The New Yorker. Her resulting book, Fire in the Lake, received the Pulitzer Prize.

ANDREW X. PHAM is the author of the award-winning memoir Catfish and Mandala and The Eaves of Heaven.

Read an Excerpt

book I

1968-1969

The inflamed days

Joy, sadness condensing in my heart

A person's most valuable possession is life. We only live once; we must live so as not to sorely regret the months and years lived wastefully, not to be ashamed of the months and years lived wastefully, so that when we die we can say, "All my life and all my strength have been dedicated to the most noble goal in life, the struggle to liberate the human race."

n. a. ostrovsky1

To live is to face the storms and not to cower before them.

8 April 1968

Operated on one case of appendicitis with inadequate anesthesia. I had only a few meager vials of Novocain to give the soldier, but he never groaned once during the entire procedure. He even smiled to encourage me. Seeing that forced smile on lips withered by exhaustion, I empathized with him immensely.

Even though his appendix had not ruptured, I was very sorry to find an infection in his abdomen. After a fruitless hour of searching for the cause, I could only treat him with antibiotics, insert a catheter, and close the wound. A whirl of emotions unsettled me: a physician's concerns and a comrade's compassion and admiration for this soldier.

Brushing the stray hair back from his forehead, I wanted to say, "If I cannot even heal people like you, this sorrow will not fade from my medical career."

10 April 1968

It is finished. You have all gone this afternoon, leaving us in an empty jungle with only our intense yearning, this loss of you.2 You have gone, but this place holds your shadows: the pathways, the pretty benches, the echoes of your impassioned poems.

"Everybody put on your pack. Let's go."

At Brother Tuan's3 order, you shouldered your crude rucksacks made from salvaged American bags. All was ready, but each of you still lingered, waiting your turn to shake my hand for the last time. Suddenly a strange longing for the North surged through me like a stormy river and . . . I cried so hard I could not face all your farewells.

No, be on your way brothers! I'll see you again one day in our beloved North.

For a night and a day, I worried about Sang's4 operation. I was so happy to see him sit up this afternoon. His face bore deep lines of pain and fatigue, but a smile slowly bloomed on his fragile lips when he saw me. His hands cupped over mine, a touch filled with warmth and trust.

Oh, you young, brave wounded soldier, my love for you is as vast as it is deep: it's a physician's compassion for her patient; it's a sister's love for her sick brother (we're the same age, you and I); and in admiration, it is a love special beyond others.

Did you see it in my anxious glance? Did you feel the tenderness in my hand on your wound, on your pale, thin arms? I wish you a quick recovery, San, so you can return to your comrades, return to your lonely old mother, who waits for you every hour, every minute.

12 April 1968

Afternoon in the forest, the rain has left the leaves wet and fragile, pale and lucid in the sunbeams, these emerald hands of a maiden imprisoned within a forbidden fortress. The air has gone somberly sad. In the patient ward, silence broods. Murmurs of Huong's5 conversation drift from the staff's room.

An immense longing envelops me.

Whom do I miss?

Dad, Mom, people who left . . . and a patient waiting for me to come to him.

Within this longing roosts a secret and profound sorrow, silent as this air, heavy as this earth. I feel the wound in my heart still bleeds, an excruciating pain that neither work nor memories can numb.

Oh, let's forget it, Thuy!6

Forget it for a new hope, something greener, healthier. Take your pride to forget despair. That person does not deserve your pure and faithful love.

Oh, my dearest ones in this land of Duc Pho, can anyone see my heart? The heart of a lonely girl filled with unanswered hopes and dreams.

13 April 1968

So many letters come from all over. Thank you all for showering me with such warm affection. I read your letters with both joy and sadness.

Why can everyone else love me so, but the man who has my faithful heart cannot?

Isn't that sad, M.? 7

I want to fill the emptiness in my soul with the affection within these kind letters, but it is impossible. My heart beats stubbornly with the tempo of a twenty-year-old, full of love and affection. Oh, be calm my heart, seek the peaceful rhythm of the sea on a windless afternoon.

14 April 1968

A wounded soldier under my care wrote me a poem. He was sincere in his admiration for my dedication. The poem was filled with compassion for my broken heart, it spoke of the bitter grief of a girl betrayed by her lover.

Reading his words . . . I am dismayed. I can't help but return the poem with a note beneath it: "Thanks for your loving sympathy, but it seems you don't understand Tram yet. I promise someday I will let you know this woman of SOCIALISM."

Oh! This is the saddest part of my relationship with M. Everyone blames M. and sympathizes with me. But it hurts to know they pity me! I don't care whether it is Thiet, Hao, Nghinh,8 or anyone else who wants to give me his sympathy, I don't want it.

I can overcome my sorrows alone. I have the will to bury nine years of hope-my soul is still fertile, still strong enough for a beautiful season of flowers yet.

Oh, friends, please don't water this soil with tears of pity. The blooms to come should be nurtured with only freshness and pureness.

M. has made my love for him fade with each passing day. A distance grows between us.

That person doesn't deserve me, does he?

15 April 1968

At noon, the jungle sleeps beneath a thick blanket of silence. I hear San is sick, so I come to his ward. All patients in the room are sleeping, including San. Not wanting to wake him, I tiptoe out, but San's moan pulls me back. He smiles uneasily. . . . He is not sick; perhaps he just wants to see me. I've been busy all day. We haven't talked about his wound.

San asks me, "This was the day you came to Duc Pho, wasn't it?"

A full year exactly, San.

I am surprised by his question. I want to sit down and tell San the whole story of the past year, a year of hardships in San's homeland, worthy of pride, but I find it hard to begin. My work means nothing compared to San's or to that of the people of Duc Pho who have fought courageously for twenty years. And it's even sillier to talk with San about how much I miss my family.

San's mother is old. San's father died when she was only twenty-two years old. A young widow, she did not remarry, sacrificing her youth to raise San until he joined the army at nineteen. Five years of flirting with death, and he is still alive.

A month ago, the enemy attacked his unit. San escaped their claws. Fifteen of his comrades sacrificed their lives. But for a twist of fate, he could easily have fallen like the rest at the foot of Portal Mountain9; and then, even if San's mother shed all her tears, her son would never come back.

Today they bring San to me. I can never let Death rob this precious son from his mother. She has pinned all her hopes on her precious only son. Never! I must do my best for San as well as for other patients!10 Isn't that a physician's proud duty?

Van sent me a letter and a gift. How I love Van! Her life is full of sorrows-sorrows that a kind person like Van should never have to bear. She lives with altruism and hopes, and carries the firm convictions of a true revolutionist. There must be compensations for that. Why does life always bring her misfortunes?

I must assume this responsibility; I must bring her hope and joy.

17 April 1968

I said good-bye to Ky and Phuong.11 After a whole year living together, I finally understood how much they love me today.

Late at night after the farewell party, Ky came to my room. Neither of us knew what to say. He sat with the notebook open, pen in hand, and scribbled meaningless lines.

There was little time. There were many important things you needed to say and write, but why did you keep your silence, my brother? Were you imparting your feelings to me through your red, sleepless eyes, or through your dark, sad smile, the lines on your thin, pale face? He took me in his wiry arms, a brotherly embrace that moved me so much.

When he left, I accompanied him to the stream. Melancholic, I walked back slowly and found the memo he had left for Lien.12 A few short lines: "You and Tram must love each other sincerely. Tram came here alone, far away from her family, she has only friends. . . ."

Oh, brother Ky, thank you. I will never forget your love.

And the last night, lying in sister Phuong's comforting arms, I listened to her advice and kept quiet, but I could not stop the hot tears rolling down my face and spilling onto hers.

Oh, sister, I'm still not a Party member today.

22 April 1968

Oh, Huong! Huong died? The news stuns me like a nightmare. One comrade falls down today, another tomorrow. Will these pains ever end? Heaps of flesh and bones keep piling up into a mountain of hatred rising ever taller in our hearts. When? When and when comrades? When can we chase the entire bloodthirsty mob from our motherland?

It's over, our nights of heart-to-heart will never happen again. I can still hear Huong's soothing voice encouraging me, praising me for the faithfulness of my love. It's over, the baths in the stream, the times we shared sweet desserts. Suddenly I remember the day we met by the stream at Nghia Hanh13: Huong embraced me, kissed my hair, kissed my cheek while tears of joy came to our eyes.

I feel a stinging stab in my belly when I see Uncle Cong,14 still calm and unaware of the tragic news that will strike him like a lightning bolt. Losing a daughter like Huong is more painful then losing an arm. Oh, Uncle! Please smother your pain when you hear the news.

Oh, poor Quang,15 so many years you have waited faithfully for Huong to be yours. You will never have your dream now. Your Huong lies forever within the bosom of your homeland.

23 April 1968

A day of utter exhaustion: three seriously injured soldiers are brought in at the same time. All day I stand at the operating table, the tension in my head building toward the point of bursting. The men's wounds. Uncle Cong's heartrending cries when he hears his daughter Huong has died.

Duong is captured while on duty.16 Can that joyful, eager boy endure the enemy's tortures? I feel so very sorry for him. My letter to Duong will never reach him; the messenger died and Duong is captured.

I hear a voice from far, far away singing a sad song: Mother's heart is as vast as the ocean, her sweet lullabies as tender as a serene stream. Was it Duong's voice the other night? Was it Duong crying out from his dark prison when he thought of his old mother, when he remembered her lifelong struggle to raise him, her sacrifices and joys invested in her beloved child?

Many mothers will cry until their well of tears runs dry.

Oh, if I fall, my mom will be just like Duong's. She will suffer forever because her child has fallen in a fiery battlefield. Oh, Mom! What can I say when I love you a hundred, a thousand, a million times over and still I had to leave your side.

The enemy is still here; many mothers will still lose their children, and many husbands will lose their wives. The immensity, the enormity of our sufferings!

25 April 1968

There is more sad news: a group of Duc Pho cadres has been ambushed on its way back from a seminar in the province seat. I hear a few have sacrificed their lives to save their comrades. Nghia17 is in the group. I wonder if anything has happened to my young brother. He is active, courageous, and capable of leading the group.

Oh, brother! What will I do if something happened to you? Will I cry through many quiet nights, will my tears run dry, or will a bright hostile flame flare within my heart against our enemy?

I have been waiting for your return, but now . . .

26 April 1968

My heart is heavy as I read brother Tam's letter sent from H818-not a letter from M. The past is gone, why did you remind me of it, Tam? You feel bad for me, but you unintentionally hurt me. You tell me that M. is sick; you say you understand me, empathize with me, but in fact you do not know me at all. Don't you understand that an educated woman has pride? If you did . . . it would have been better if you had talked with me about important things, my work, my awareness-and no more.

30 April 1968

Why are you still sad, Thuy? The critically wounded soldiers survive. Didn’t the wan smiles on their pale faces bring you happiness? Didn’t the recent praises for the clinic give you joy, Thuy? And yet you are still sad.

This sorrow has seeped far into my heart like the relentless monsoon rain willing itself deep into the earth. I have searched for carefree joy, but I have failed, my mind already furrowed with somber thoughts— there is no way to erase them. Perhaps I can banish them by dedicating myself entirely to curing the wounded and improving the clinic.

Oh, why was I born a dreamy girl, demanding so much of life?

By any measure, my life is a dream: I have a whole and good family.19 I still have opportunities to advance my career, and I have tasks commensurate with my capabilities. People treat me with kindness. . . .

I demand too much of life, don’t I?

Answer that, Thuy, Miss Stubborn, difficult to please.

1 May 1968

Once more, we celebrate Labor Day20 in the jungle—it is a long, silent day, submerged in longings. I miss Hanoi, Dad, Mom, and my siblings terribly.21 I doze off at noon and find myself coming back to see Mom and my sisters in the Supplementary School for Public Health Officers,22 down that narrow road, to that gate at Mr. Nghiep’s23 house; I slip through the broken lattices of the gate as easily, as happily as I did in those younger carefree days.

Reading Group Guide

1. Based on her own account of her life, what kind of person do you think Dang Thuy Tram was? How would you describe her character?

2. How much do you know about the Vietnam War? What was the mood of the country during the U.S. involvement? Discuss your personal experiences or memories of life during the war. How do you think this diary would have been received in America at the war’s end? How might this diary be controversial even now, more than thirty years after the war’s end?

3. Like Dang Thuy Tram’s diary, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was published after the wartime death of it’s author. Now a classic, Anne Frank’s diary is a moving testament to a young girl’s hopeful spirit and faith in humanity as well as a glimpse of a life very different from our own. How do you think Last Night I Dreamed of Peace compares? Do you think this diary has the same kind of cultural relevance?

4. What special challenges does a translator face when working on a personal diary?

5. Discuss the universal losses of war. In any war, what do both armies have in common?

6. Thuy often speaks of a man she calls M. in her diary. She wills herself to forget him and devote herself more fully to the Communist party. Is she successful? How does Thuy respond to sympathy over her unrequited love for him?

7. Reread the entry from April 30, 1968, in which Thuy counts her blessings. What do her words reveal about her? Which do you think Thuy wants more, love for herself or freedom for Vietnam?

8. Why is gaining membership in the Communist party so important to Thuy? Why does she think she has been unable to get in? How does she feel when she is finally admitted?

9. Is Thuy a pessimist or an optimist? A romantic or a realist? Do you think she would agree with your accessment?

10. Discuss Thuy’s life at the clinic. What are the joys? The sorrows? The risks? What makes her so committed to her patients? Do you think she is well suited to the dangers she faces there? Why or why not?

11. How is Thuy a typical young woman? What makes her seem older than her years? Discuss the effects of war on innocence.

12. Thuy often speaks of her important friendships with both men and women, even calling those closest to her Little Brother or Big Sister. How might their living conditions and the long struggle contribute to the forming of such intense friendships?

13. Have you ever kept a diary? If so, why and when? Did you write it as if no one would ever see it, but you or were you conscious, on some level, of a future reader. Does anything in Thuy’s tone suggest her awareness of a reader other than herself? What did you think of her writing style in general? Were there any passages that seemed particularly evocative to you?

14. Discuss the entry from June 20, 1970, the diary’s last, in light of Thuy’s death two days later.

15. What are the lessons to be learned from Thuy’s diary? About humanity? About war? About love and courage?

Foreword

1. Based on her own account of her life, what kind of person do you think Dang Thuy Tram was? How would you describe her character?

2. How much do you know about the Vietnam War? What was the mood of the country during the U.S. involvement? Discuss your personal experiences or memories of life during the war. How do you think this diary would have been received in America at the war’s end? How might this diary be controversial even now, more than thirty years after the war’s end?

3. Like Dang Thuy Tram’s diary, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was published after the wartime death of it’s author. Now a classic, Anne Frank’s diary is a moving testament to a young girl’s hopeful spirit and faith in humanity as well as a glimpse of a life very different from our own. How do you think Last Night I Dreamed of Peace compares? Do you think this diary has the same kind of cultural relevance?

4. What special challenges does a translator face when working on a personal diary?

5. Discuss the universal losses of war. In any war, what do both armies have in common?

6. Thuy often speaks of a man she calls M. in her diary. She wills herself to forget him and devote herself more fully to the Communist party. Is she successful? How does Thuy respond to sympathy over her unrequited love for him?

7. Reread the entry from April 30, 1968, in which Thuy counts her blessings. What do her words reveal about her? Which do you think Thuy wants more, love for herself or freedom for Vietnam?

8. Why is gaining membership in the Communist party so important to Thuy? Why does she think she has been unable to getin? How does she feel when she is finally admitted?

9. Is Thuy a pessimist or an optimist? A romantic or a realist? Do you think she would agree with your accessment?

10. Discuss Thuy’s life at the clinic. What are the joys? The sorrows? The risks? What makes her so committed to her patients? Do you think she is well suited to the dangers she faces there? Why or why not?

11. How is Thuy a typical young woman? What makes her seem older than her years? Discuss the effects of war on innocence.

12. Thuy often speaks of her important friendships with both men and women, even calling those closest to her Little Brother or Big Sister. How might their living conditions and the long struggle contribute to the forming of such intense friendships?

13. Have you ever kept a diary? If so, why and when? Did you write it as if no one would ever see it, but you or were you conscious, on some level, of a future reader. Does anything in Thuy’s tone suggest her awareness of a reader other than herself? What did you think of her writing style in general? Were there any passages that seemed particularly evocative to you?

14. Discuss the entry from June 20, 1970, the diary’s last, in light of Thuy’s death two days later.

15. What are the lessons to be learned from Thuy’s diary? About humanity? About war? About love and courage?

Customer Reviews

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Last Night I Dreamed of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I served in the 11th Light infantry Brigade in 1968 as a 4.2 FO for C 4/3. This Diary is a compelling account of a committed revolutionary and brilliantly trained doctor who lived an unbelievable if short life. I am saddened by the brutal conduct of American forces in this AO. This wonderful Diary by a 20 year old female is a work of love and hope that should be shared by future generations.
wonderbook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the diary of Dang Thuy Tram, a 27 year old North Vietnamese doctor who volunteered to work in the heart of the war in 1968. She was shot to death by U.S. soldiers in 1970. One of the of soldiers secretly kept her diary, a small note book, and 35 years later returned it to her family in Vietnam. She wrote in her diary almost daily. The diary is addressed to herself and bears her soul with beautifully written descriptions of the country and people she loved. Thuy reveals in her diary that she became very attached to the people she worked with, many died during the time of her writing. Her idealism seems to have caused misunderstandings in her relationships. She aspired to overcome the stigma of her bourgeois upbringing and become a communist party member. She was finally accepted and recognized for the work she accomplished as a war surgeon. She worked under hostile enemy fire and earth shaking bombings, often hiding in underground shelters. The clinics she worked in were frequently destroyed and often forced to move to safer locations. Cherished memories of her family and the enduring fighting spirit of the soldiers gave her hope for the success of the war and ultimate unification and independence of Vietnam. This commitment to the cause kept her spirit alive but deep in her heart she knew the odds were against her; she would never witness the end of the war or see her family in North Vietnam again.
arubabookwoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like The Diary of Ann Frank the back-story of this book is perhaps as interesting as the book itself. Thuy was a young North Vietnamese doctor who went to the front (walking the Ho Chi Minh trail for three months to get there) in 1966. She served in Quang Ngai province, where My Lai is located.When the diary begins in April, 1968 (previous volumes were lost or destroyed) she was 25 years old and the chief physician at a field clinic that served civilians as well as Viet Cong soldiers. By August, 1967 the district where the hospital was located had become a "free-fire zone" where:"...people lived in caves or in tunnels that also served as bunkers for the guerillas. Many of the hamlets had been burned or bulldozed to deny the guerillas shelter; the fields were pockmarked with craters and the nearby forests were defoliated." (From the introduction written by Frances Fitzgerald).Thuy's diary ends abruptly in June 1970, when she was killed by American troops. The diaries were found by an American soldier whose task it was to go through captured documents to see if there was anything of military significance. His interpreter told him not to burn the diary: "It has fire in it already." Against all regulations, the American soldier kept the diary and brought it back home after the war. 35 years later, the soldier found Thuy's surviving family in Hanoi, and returned the diaries to her mother and sisters. The diaries were published in North Vietnam and became a huge bestseller.The diaries themselves are a combination of the mundane and horrific, naivite and wisdom, innocence and cynicism. While Thuy shouldered huge responsibilities and a leadership role, she was also like Ann Frank, still a young woman with dreams and plans for the future. While her descriptions of the war are not graphic, the war is ever-present--the thunder of the bombers and the scramble to the shelters, interactions with the villagers and feeling their pain when their homes are destroyed, the babies, children and other civilians who were wounded and who she tried to save, the barreness of the exfoliated forests.It was easy for Thuy to demonize the Americans and those Vietnamese soldiers fighting on behalf of South Vietnam, and some may find this aspect of the book jarring. I nevertheless highly recommend the book. Although it's sometimes may seem a little boring or childish it is always compelling. I would also note that it made a very interesting read in conjunction with Novel Without a Name. I had a bunch of quotes from the book I was going to include here, but unfortunately I have long since returned the book to the library.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dang Thuy Tram was a North Vietnamese doctor during the Vietnamese war. She kept diaries during the war. Thuy was killed in the conflict, and her diary was discovered by someone serving in American military intelligence. According to protocol, he should have destroyed the diary after determining that it had no intelligence value, but instead he kept it. 30 years later, a copy of the diary was returned to Thuy's mother in Vietnam, where it was published. It was also translated into English for publication in the U.S.The diary wasn't what I expected to read. That's no fault of the author's. She didn't keep the diary for my benefit, but for her own. I had hoped it would contain more about her medical work and the conditions and challenges she faced. However, the emphasis of her diary entries is mainly personal. She has a lot to say about her relationships, mostly with young men she granted the status of younger brothers. In the earlier entries, she talks about her frustration that she had not yet been accepted as a Communist Party member. She is bothered by perceived criticism and jealousy. She is also troubled by a rift in her romance with a man she refers to as ¿M.¿Although she was 25 when she began this diary in 1968, Thuy came across to me as somewhat naive. I'm not sure her feelings for at least one of the young men she called ¿brother¿ were as platonic as she tried to convince herself they were. I'm not sure her younger brothers' feelings for her were as platonic as she thought they were, either. I think this could have been cause for the jealousy and criticism she experienced.I think I would have gleaned more from this book if I knew more about the Vietnam War before I read it. The extensive footnotes helped some, but not enough. I was a child during the war, and I've never wanted to revisit the memories I have of the television news reels of the combat, the images of flag-draped coffins returning to the U.S., and images of angry protestors. One of my uncles served in Vietnam, and I remember praying for his safety every night at bedtime. It was a little startling to read of Thuy's hatred of the enemy/Americans. I know there are U.S. veterans who felt that way about the North Vietnamese, but they're not among my family and close friends.I think this book is best suited for readers with prior knowledge of the causes of the war and the military operations. This review is based on an advance reading copy loaned to me by a friend.
thornton37814 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dang Thuy Tram was a female North Vietnamese doctor who served in a clinic in South Vietnam during the conflict. This is an English translation of a diary she kept. She met her death in June 1970 at the hands of American soldiers. Some of the soldiers kept her diary and eventually got it back in the hands of her family. It was published in Vietnam. This is its first "official" English translation.It is interesting to read Thuy's thoughts and feelings as she treats the wounded and experiences the proximity of war. Thuy's observations are almost poetic at times in the imagery she uses to record her feelings. Her dislike for the American "bandits" is frequently mentioned. It certainly presents a side of the Vietnamese conflict which is often overlooked. Thuy loses family, friends, and patients because of the war. One cannot help but sympathize with her plight as the war draws closer and closer to her clinic.
kelleykl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Much like poetry, I find that I can only read a little of this book at a time. The journal of Dang Thuy Tram is both beautiful and heart wrenching. For only seriously interested in Vietnam or the Vietnam War, this book is an invaluable primary resource. However, without a specific "plot," so to speak, to move it forward it will have limited appeal. Still, I think it deserved a place on public library shelves.
Cathebrown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A touching account of a self-described "health-care revolutionist." Tram's diary bears her soul as she describes her longing for her beloved, her commitment to medicine and the love of her country. The book provides a point of view other than the American perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had read about the Dairy of Dr. Tram, a young Vietnamese doctor killed during the war. I had to wait over two years before the book was for sale. When we read or listen to the news, the people we are fighting are faceless, and devoid of humanity. They are our enemy. Reading this young, idealistic girl's thoughts and feelings, memories, hopes, and fears, I discovered a love for her, for life, for humankind, as well as a desire to return to the pure unadulterated dreams of my youth. Her bravery and heroism to leave a life of ease and comfort, a loving family and friends to follow the dreams of her devotion to her country, for a cause she truly believed in, at the cost of comfort to endure unbelievable hardships, heart ache, and personal loss brings the reader to want to comfort her, and abhor the destruction of war. This book should sit next to The Diary of Anne Frank, as required reading for the young. As much as we honor our fallen soldiers, and citizens who sacrificed their lives, this young doctor exemplifies the same love, patriotism, and dedication to her country and people.