The Literary Hootch, Part 3

The Literary Hootch
Part 3

Once a Newby Always a Newby
by Sergeant Major (Ret) George S. Kulas

As we were leaving the plane, the stewardess announced that she hoped we had a good tour—not a good day, as is usually the custom. I recall thinking to myself that I probably wouldn’t have a good day, or see another pretty blonde like her, for the next 13 months.

The Only War We've Got: Early Days in South Vietnam
by Daniel Ford
A war correspondent's journal, from the Mekong Delta to the Central Highlands, including the patrol that inspired the novel "Incident at Muc Wa" and the Burt Lancaster film "Go Tell the Spartans."

by Patrick Stafford, author of "Asian Darkness."

A Pedicab Driver Peddles Through History
A Vietnam War Short Story.

A Piece of My Heart: The Stories of 26 American Women Who Served in Vietnam
by Keith Walker
"Records the memories of a war in the words of those women courageous enough to walk into hell." --San Francisco Chronicle

Purple Hearts: Poetry of The Vietnam War
by W. H. McDonald Jr.
Poetry about the experience of the Vietnam War and afterwards by a combat veteran.

The Quiet American
by Graham Greene
The setting is Saigon in the violent years when the French were desperately trying to hold their footing in the Far East. The main characters are a skeptical British journalist, his beautiful Vietnamese mistress, and an eager young American sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission. The story is deeply enriched by psychological tensions and battles of conflicting personalities. This great novel is of personal love, of physical danger, and of international rivalries.

Franklin D. Rast
His sequel book to Don's Nam is Ghosts In The Wire.

Regret to Inform
This beautiful, shattering documentary by photographer Barbara Sonneborn began production in 1992 but was spiritually born in 1968 with the death of her husband and high school sweetheart, Jeff Gurvitz. Eight weeks into his tour of duty in Vietnam, Gurvitz was killed during a mortar attack at Khe Sanh while attempting to rescue a comrade. A tape-recorded letter he had just sent to his wife appeared in Sonneborn's mailbox some time after his awful sacrifice. Sonnenborn put it away and did not listen to it until her decision to make this film, which concerns the losses and agonies endured by women on both sides of America's disastrous military campaign in Southeast Asia.
"Regret to Inform" on DVD

A Saigon Party: And Other Vietnam War Short Stories
by Diana J. Dell, USO Vietnam 1970-72
In 1970, two years after her brother Kenny was killed in the Mekong Delta, Diana Dell went to Vietnam as a civilian with USO. For the first six months, she was a program director at the USO Aloha Club at 22nd Replacement Battalion in Cam Ranh Bay, then this humanitarian organization's in-country director of public relations, and also the host of a daily radio show, "USO Showtime," on American Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN), the military station in Saigon.

As an eyewitness to the most significant event of the coming-of-age Baby Boom Generation, she claims that she will be telling war stories until her final moment on this earth.

However, Diana’s tales -- some exaggerated, many true -- are not about battles, blood, gore, or angst. They are about participants of the war other than grunts: CIA agents, bar girls, war profiteers, missionaries, donut dollies, strippers, civilian contractors, pilots, cooks, telephone operators, disc jockeys, rock stars, landladies, pedicab drivers, generals, Buddhist monks, movie stars, pickpockets, politicians, prostitutes, prisoners, beggars, nightclub owners, drug counselors, Montagnard tribesmen, foreign correspondents, ambassadors, doctors, humanitarians, celebrity tourists, and other REMFs, civilian as well as military.

Saigon Rumors
A Vietnam War Short Story.

Neil Sheehan
He was awarded a non-fiction Pulitzer Prize in 1989 and a National Book Award for A Bright Shining Lie.

A Shot and a Wound by David A. Willson
"Folks who have read the first two books in my REMF trilogy, "REMF Diary" and "The REMF Returns" have marveled at the risk-free tour of duty that the REMF served in Vietnam. They assume that I and the REMF are the same man, that our tours of duty were the same. Not true. There are similarities, I admit. But unlike the REMF, I never served in Italy. I've never even been to Italy. Also, I never had a fixation on Madame Ky, although I did admire her style and felt my heart race when she appeared in her black go-to-hell jumpsuit." --David A. Willson

Shrapnel in the Heart : Letters and Remembrances from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
by Laura Palmer
"Thousands of letters and messages have been left at the Vietnam Memorial Wall since its dedication in 1982, many preserved by the National Park Service as part of a planned museum collection. Palmer, who worked in Saigon as a reporter in the early '70s, found and interviewed many of the people who left them. The resulting book combines the messages with the comments of those who wrote them, and one would have to look far to find a work that stirs deeper emotions. Reading it is a cathartic experience rather than a depressing one. The bodies of the fallen are buried elsewhere, but as far as the surviving family members, friends and comrades are concerned, the spirits of the dead seem to dwell in and around the monument itself. Shrapnel in the Heart is in its own way as awesome a memorial as the wall." --Publishers Weekly

Frank Snepp
His book, Decent Interval, was published by Random House in total secrecy without CIA approval.

Station Hospital Saigon: A Navy Nurse in Vietnam, 1963-1964
by Bobbi Hovis, Shea Buckley (Illustrator)
"A competently written, understated, detailed account by a nurse assigned to the first military hospital in Vietnam. Interesting not only because her tour was early, but because Hovis was a Navy nurse."--Marilyn Knapp Litt

A Story of Vietnam
by Truong Buu Lam
From the author: "As a specialist of Southeast Asia, I am often asked to introduce a history of Vietnam that would treat evenly all of its diverse periods and also would give equal importance to the cultural and artistic aspects as to the political or military events.As often, I am embarrassed to answer that there is no such work written in English. In effect,a comprehensive history of Vietnam is still lacking. That is why I am happy to introduce here a work of mine entitled A Story of VIĘT NAM.

I call it a story and not a history, because I do not want my book to be the usual conventional textbook. While not a conventional text, my work can,nonetheless, provide a substantial reading material to students who are interested in Asian affairs. To the hyphenated Vietnamese in particular, --who have not been schooled in Vietnam-- it represents a convenient reference tool to unveil the historical allusions, cultural insinuations, mythical hints, literary suggestions, ethnic idiosyncrasies they encounter every day at home. Finally, this book can also be sought after by all those people who know so much already about Vietnam as a war but who still would like to know a little bit more about a Vietnam which is a culture, a country and a people."

That Year In Saigon: A Screenplay
This fresh Vietnam War comedy-drama, filled with colorful characters, snappy dialogue, and biting political commentary, centers around three twentysomething American women, who learn about life and love while working at the USO in 1971-72 Saigon.

The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction
by Tim O'Brien
"They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing--these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight. They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice.... Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to."

Unaccustomed Mercy: Soldier-Poets of the Vietnam War
by W. D. Ehrhart (Editor)
"We all owe our gratitude not just to the poets of the Vietnam War, but most certainly to Will Ehrhart for ceaselessly working to bring us this exceptionally beautifull form of expression." --S. Annand

Up Country: A Novel
by Nelson Demille
DeMille cannily revives the army career of Chief Warrant Officer Paul Brenner, the cynical, hardworking Criminal Investigation Division man who was forcibly retired after solving the high-profile killing in "The General's Daughter."

Very Crazy, G.I.: Strange but True Stories of the Vietnam War
by Kregg P. J. Jorgenson
In this compelling, highly unusual collection of amazing but true stories, U.S. soldiers reveal fantastic, almost unbelievable events that occurred in places ranging from the deadly Central Highlands to the Cong-infested Mekong Delta.

The Vietnam War in American Stories, Songs, and Poems
by H. Bruce Franklin
The first college anthology of American literature about the Vietnam War brings together 16 stories, 5 songs, and 63 poems in an affordable text for literature and history courses.

Vietnam War Writers
Biographies of Vietnam War writers.

The Vietnamese Rock Star Interview on AFVN
A Vietnam War Short Story.

Visions of War, Dreams of Peace
by Joan Furey, Lynda Van Devanter
First Sentence: "I will never forget Vietnam . . . It is always there, and until the day that I am six feet under, Vietnam will always be there: the sights, the sounds, the smells, the happy times and the bad times . . . It is as real now as it was when I was there."

Voices from the Rear: Vietnam, 1969-1970
by George M. Watson
"Voices From the Rear" should be recognizable to many Vietnam Veterans. It deals with the inequalities of the draft system of the 1960s and provides a social history of the U.S. Army during 1969-1970. It is a story of rear echelon soldiers in Vietnam, who comprised the majority of troops that served in that war, often harboring festering animosities towards the war and the Army. They often maneuvered craftily to cope with the situation and created a culture and shared comradeship that helped them survive and endure the Army.

The War Cradle
by Shirley Peck Barnes
The untold story of "Operation Babylift," the heroic evacuation of thousands of abandoned orphans during the last days of the Vietnam War.

War Without A Front, The Memoirs of a French Army Nurse in Vietnam
by Elisabeth Sevier
The Memoirs of A French Army Nurse serving in Indochina (Vietnam) from 1950-1953.

We Were Soldiers Once... and Young: Ia Drang -- The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam
by Harold G. Moore, Joseph Galloway
In the first significant engagement between American troops and the Viet Cong, 450 U.S. soldiers found themselves surrounded and outnumbered by their enemy. This book tells the story of how they battled between October 23 and November 26, 1965.

James Webb
The author of "Fields of Fire" served with the Fifth Marine Regiment in Vietnam and was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, two Bronze Star Medals, and two Purple Hearts.

Kate Webb
War correspondent Webb was captured by North Vietnamese troops operating in Cambodia.

When Duty Calls
by Faith DeVeaux
What would it take for you to appreciate what you have in life? The near-death of the one you love? Anita Anderson, married for over thirty years, was becoming bored with her life. Then the unthinkable happened; her husband had a heart attack, then fell into a coma. Her estranged children come home, and she decides to reunite her family once and for all. Anita brings out her beloved letters that she saved from when her husband fought in Vietnam. After rediscovering her buried passion for life, she decides to share them with as many people as possible.

Faith DeVeaux was an Army brat, living in Germany as well as in several different states in the U.S. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University, and has worked a variety of jobs in public relations. She has produced two short films. When Duty Calls is her first novel.

When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace
by Le Ly Hayslip
A Vietnamese woman describes her journey from war-torn central Vietnam to the United States, recounting how she endured imprisonment, torture, rape, near-starvation, and the deaths of members of her family.

Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam
by Elizabeth Norman

A World of Hurt: Between Innocence & Arrogance in Vietnam
by Mary Reynolds Powell
Mary personifies the tender mercy of all nurses thrust into combat.

Yolanda's Favorite Beggar
A Vietnam War Short Story.

The Literary Hootch, Part 1

The Literary Hootch, Part 2