THE PERIMETER OF LIGHT: Short Fiction and Other Writing About the Vietnam War by Vivian Vie--Ed. Balfour

THE PERIMETER OF LIGHT: Short Fiction and Other Writing About the Vietnam War

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Outstanding, multifaceted collection of writings on Vietnam.Particularly welcome are the number of stories of the hitherto underrepresented women's experience of Vietnam. Daniell D'Ottavio Harned's rich, savagely beautiful ""Like Clouds Depart"" tells of a stewardess who flies R & R flights--her short affairs, an agonized visit to the hospital. ""Jody's Got Your Sister Too"" is Judy Kohler's razor-sharp first-person picture of a bighearted stateside nurse who looks reality dead in the eye; she's in love with her husband, having an affair with the sergeant running her ward, and is loved by her G.I patients. Also set stateside is Wayne Johnson's shivery ""Hippies, Indians, Buffalo."" Martin receives a letter from his cousin a month after he was killed in Khe San: ""...don't let them talk you into coming over here. All we're doing is dying like pigs in this fucking muck."" Shortly afterward, a draft notice arrives. The delayed casualties are here: In ""The Blue Lady,"" Ian Graham Leask renders the last thoughts of a man dying from exposure to Agent Orange, and Eileen Curtis's ""The Rhythm-Aires"" is a painfully acute portrait of a man still suffering the death of his son in Vietnam 20 years ago. Rick Christman contributes an agonizingly melancholy tale of a US translator who attempts to adopt a Vietnamese girl. Tim O'Brien's entry, ""The Man I Killed,"" is from his novel The Things They Carried. In ""The Hero,"" John Mort contributes a very strong story about a grunt so credulous he still believes war is a John Wayne movie. And Anthony Bokoski tells a compelling tale (""The Perimeter of Light"") of the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name in the trenches. A very fine collection of writings whether one is a Vietnam buff or not.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
Page count: 312pp
Publisher: New Rivers--dist. by Talman