Mourning Headband for Hue: An Account of the Battle for Hue, Vietnam 1968

Nhã Ca, trans. from the Vietnamese by Olga Dror. Indiana Univ, $30 (376p) ISBN 978-0-253-01417-7
First published in 1969, this searing eyewitness account of the fighting in the Vietnamese city of Hue during the 1968 Tet Offensive is republished here in a new translation with a long introduction and annotated footnotes. In late January of 1968, the 30-year-old Nhã Ca, a well-known Vietnamese writer living in the U.S., was visiting family in the beautiful former imperial city for Tet, the Lunar New Year holiday. On January 31, the first night of Tet, the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong invaded Hue, holding the city for nearly a month. Civilians were caught in the cross fire after American Marines and South Vietnamese forces counterattacked. Adding to the horror, the invading forces summarily executed as many as 2,800 men and women who worked for the South Vietnamese government and the Americans, or were otherwise suspected of being ideologically impure. Nhã Ca relates countless moments of terror she and her extended family members suffered and shares stories told to her by others who faced similarly dire circumstances. It’s an intimate—and disturbing—account of war at its most brutal, told from the point of view of civilians trying to survive the maelstrom. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 08/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 378 pages - 978-0-253-02164-9
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