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Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees

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Fifty years after the Vietnam War, this anthology by descendants of Vietnam veterans and refugees—American, Vietnamese, Vietnamese Diaspora, Hmong, Australian, and others—confronts war and its aftermath. What emerges is an affecting portrait of the effects of war and family—an intercultural, generational dialogue on silence, memory, landscape, imagination, Agent Orange, di Fifty years after the Vietnam War, this anthology by descendants of Vietnam veterans and refugees—American, Vietnamese, Vietnamese Diaspora, Hmong, Australian, and others—confronts war and its aftermath. What emerges is an affecting portrait of the effects of war and family—an intercultural, generational dialogue on silence, memory, landscape, imagination, Agent Orange, displacement, postwar trauma, and the severe realities that are carried home. Including such acclaimed voices as Viet Thanh Nguyen, Karen Russell, Terrance Hayes, Suzan-Lori Parks, Nick Flynn, and Ocean Vuong, Inheriting the War enriches the discourse of the Vietnam War and provides a collective conversation that attempts to transcend the recursion of history. “Each unique work in Inheriting the War embraces a collective that aims to engage through some daring and passionate truths calibrated by bravery.” —Yusef Komunyakaa, from the foreword


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Fifty years after the Vietnam War, this anthology by descendants of Vietnam veterans and refugees—American, Vietnamese, Vietnamese Diaspora, Hmong, Australian, and others—confronts war and its aftermath. What emerges is an affecting portrait of the effects of war and family—an intercultural, generational dialogue on silence, memory, landscape, imagination, Agent Orange, di Fifty years after the Vietnam War, this anthology by descendants of Vietnam veterans and refugees—American, Vietnamese, Vietnamese Diaspora, Hmong, Australian, and others—confronts war and its aftermath. What emerges is an affecting portrait of the effects of war and family—an intercultural, generational dialogue on silence, memory, landscape, imagination, Agent Orange, displacement, postwar trauma, and the severe realities that are carried home. Including such acclaimed voices as Viet Thanh Nguyen, Karen Russell, Terrance Hayes, Suzan-Lori Parks, Nick Flynn, and Ocean Vuong, Inheriting the War enriches the discourse of the Vietnam War and provides a collective conversation that attempts to transcend the recursion of history. “Each unique work in Inheriting the War embraces a collective that aims to engage through some daring and passionate truths calibrated by bravery.” —Yusef Komunyakaa, from the foreword

47 review for Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erika Schoeps

    A diverse collection of authors-- some better known, all with different backgrounds (2nd generation Vietnamese immigrant, 1st generation, sons and daughters of still-living Vietnam veterans, sons and daughters of tragically perished Vietnam veterans, and more) tackle Vietnam's direct, sometimes indirect effects on their own lives, their families lives, and the lives of their communities. My favorite thing about this anthology was the tremendous scope and diversity of viewpoints. I've never read A diverse collection of authors-- some better known, all with different backgrounds (2nd generation Vietnamese immigrant, 1st generation, sons and daughters of still-living Vietnam veterans, sons and daughters of tragically perished Vietnam veterans, and more) tackle Vietnam's direct, sometimes indirect effects on their own lives, their families lives, and the lives of their communities. My favorite thing about this anthology was the tremendous scope and diversity of viewpoints. I've never read an anthology with stories from so many different people and possibly set within such a long time period. When switching from story to story, you could always be surprised by something radically different. For me, anthologies cause fatigue and boredom when they limit their scope and try to stay too thematically similar. Inheriting the War diverges wildly and celebrates the loose adherence to a theme. I finished this feeling as though I had explored every nook and cranny of the Vietnam War. I felt connected and embraced and affected by all the possible situations that had resulted from this awful, imposing (ultimately global) conflict.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    One of the most important collections of Southeast Asian storytelling ever compiled, revealing more truth than what you would typically find in a history textbook. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who wants to truly understand the ramifications and generational impact the Vietnam War had, and the subsequent reconciliation of its aftereffects. It's much more comprehensive in nature, much more likely to bridge the gap between our understanding of humanity and what lies across the cultural One of the most important collections of Southeast Asian storytelling ever compiled, revealing more truth than what you would typically find in a history textbook. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who wants to truly understand the ramifications and generational impact the Vietnam War had, and the subsequent reconciliation of its aftereffects. It's much more comprehensive in nature, much more likely to bridge the gap between our understanding of humanity and what lies across the cultural divide. These stories are rich, vibrant, heartbreaking; incredibly heartbreaking. You'll have a deeper sense of who you are the more you invest, the more willing you are to connect with the stories here.

  3. 5 out of 5

    BMR, LCSW

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway earlier this year. This book is a compelling collection of essays, poetry, and prose in reaction to Vietnam (incl. US involvement in Cambodia and Laos), and its ongoing fallout. I learned quite a bit, including that Australians were also fighting and dying in Vietnam. I preferred the essays to the prose, but that's simply my literary preference. The same reason why I am not a fan of short stories: I always want to know more. Recommended for anyone whose life I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway earlier this year. This book is a compelling collection of essays, poetry, and prose in reaction to Vietnam (incl. US involvement in Cambodia and Laos), and its ongoing fallout. I learned quite a bit, including that Australians were also fighting and dying in Vietnam. I preferred the essays to the prose, but that's simply my literary preference. The same reason why I am not a fan of short stories: I always want to know more. Recommended for anyone whose life was touched by the wars in SE Asia caused by US interference, and history geeks.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David

    This was an interesting, but disappointing book. I had read many of the stories and poems before and was looking forward to a wider range of stories and poems. The title is a bit misleading, the Vietnam Veterans are actually USA veterans of the Vietnam war and not Vietnam Veterans, the book also lacks a rounding of the story by omitting, I can only believe for reasons that the editor can explain, any stories and poems by actual Vietnam Veterans or the Vietnamese, north and south, that remain in This was an interesting, but disappointing book. I had read many of the stories and poems before and was looking forward to a wider range of stories and poems. The title is a bit misleading, the Vietnam Veterans are actually USA veterans of the Vietnam war and not Vietnam Veterans, the book also lacks a rounding of the story by omitting, I can only believe for reasons that the editor can explain, any stories and poems by actual Vietnam Veterans or the Vietnamese, north and south, that remain in Vietnam....The descendants in the book are not the only descendants of this war....

  5. 4 out of 5

    Will

    I really enjoyed many essays and poems in this collection. It helps that some of my favorite poets writing today are Vietnamese American (Hieu Minh Nguyen, Paul Tran, & Ocean Vuong). That being said, the personal essays included in this anthology really blew me away. It contains many thoughtful reflections about the legacies of war in a family. It is definitely worth picking up and skimming through! I really enjoyed many essays and poems in this collection. It helps that some of my favorite poets writing today are Vietnamese American (Hieu Minh Nguyen, Paul Tran, & Ocean Vuong). That being said, the personal essays included in this anthology really blew me away. It contains many thoughtful reflections about the legacies of war in a family. It is definitely worth picking up and skimming through!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Faith 09

    An enthralling read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Anne

  8. 4 out of 5

    R.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mai Nguyễn

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christine Matsumoto

  11. 4 out of 5

    Calen

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  13. 4 out of 5

    Larissa Noll

  14. 4 out of 5

    Becky Heimann

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katie Mcclung

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Durham

  17. 5 out of 5

    Despy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Breayna

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

  21. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  22. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  23. 5 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melly Mel

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Seifert

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

  27. 5 out of 5

    Wanda C

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joy Yerkie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  31. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  32. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  33. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  34. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

  35. 5 out of 5

    Janey

  36. 5 out of 5

    Charissa Rate

  37. 4 out of 5

    Missy

  38. 4 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  39. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

  40. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Morris

  41. 5 out of 5

    Cathyann

  42. 4 out of 5

    Jennie McShane

  43. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  44. 4 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  45. 4 out of 5

    Merry Miller moon

  46. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

  47. 5 out of 5

    Miriah Isel

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