New Yorker staff writer Susan Sheehan in Vietnam wanted to know the ""95% that don't count""--the chief participants and...

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TEN VIETNAMESE

New Yorker staff writer Susan Sheehan in Vietnam wanted to know the ""95% that don't count""--the chief participants and chief victims of the war. She spoke to ten Vietnamese in this category: a South Vietnamese peasant woman who did not know that her country had been partitioned but hopes the war will end soon, for who knows when a bomb or bullet will strike home; a South Vietnamese soldier who rents rooms to GIs and their Vietnamese girls: a refugee from a strategic hamlet; a doctor who is ""a pediatrician by profession, a politican by inclination""; a Montagnard from the Central Highlands, weary of interference by big powers, wanting only tribal autonomy. Then there is thirteen-year old Le Quang, an orphan who earns his living selling ice cream on the streets of Da Nang and who sometimes cries at night after he has said his prayers and before he falls asleep, when he realises that he doesn't mean anything to anyone and that he is alone in the world; twenty-year-old Bui Than otherwise known as Hanh Duc, securely settled as a Buddhist monk; Private Phan Van Loc who spends more time waiting to fight than fighting but says ""we are accustomed to death""; Huynh Van Kim, a Viet Cong who defected; and Nguyen Ngoc Vinah, a North Vietnamese soldier imprisoned in an interrogation center, facing torture with electrodes, still determined to return to his village--""Our war is a people's war, a war for a just cause."" Mrs. Sheehan gets it all down, the facts, the nuances, so that it is there to see. And wonder.

Pub Date: March 6, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1966