Shallow Graves: Two Women and Vietnam

Wendy Wilder Larsen, Author, Tran Thi Nga, Author Random House (NY) $16.95 (291p) ISBN 978-0-394-54985-9
Life in war-torn Vietnam is here recollected in prose poems by two friendsLarsen, an American poet and teacher married to a Saigon-based journalist, and Nga, a Vietnamese social worker and mother of four. (Both women now live in the U.S.) Major events and emotions are concentrated in the terse, yet evocative lines. Nga's dramatic, sometimes humorous and often poignant verse is effectively understated; her narrative is rich in arresting images (""sunlight coming through the bullet holes'') as she expresses the cruelty of families separated and a country divided, with refugees from one sector unwelcome in the other. Adapting to life in the U.S. was difficult, but with no pathos Nga comments that ``People will give one shoe to a rummage sale.'' The title of these eloquent pieces refers to the belief that the souls of those buried in shallow graves are doomed to wander. (April 23)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1986
Release date: 03/01/1986
Genre: Fiction
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