Online Essay on the Legacy of the Vietnam War


Children in a village near Hue that now has a water pipeline for the first time — installed by American war veterans. (Photo by Suzanne Levine)


My essay, Tea in Tuy Hoa: A Writer Makes Peace With The Vietnam War, was published online in early May by Welcome Table Press. The piece is based on a keynote address I gave at Fairfield University’s MFA Creative Writing program, and it reconstructs a personal journey of 45 years from being in country to my return. It also discusses literature of the Vietnam War — novelists, poets and memoirists who tried to affect the public discourse. Among them: Tim O’Brien, Yusef Kumunyakaa, Hayden Carruth,Tobias Wolff, Michael Herr, Ron Kovic, Philip Caputo, and the Vietnamese poet Trinh T. Minh-Ha.

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2 Responses to Online Essay on the Legacy of the Vietnam War

  1. Linda says:

    I want to say thanks. Not that I think for a moment that you wrote this for me or for any of us whose growing up was partially shaped by the nightly news, body counts and ghastly images, but thank you for sharing it. When you made your trip, I wondered how you could make yourself go back there, understanding only intellectually that ‘there’ was always here with you. You fiddled well from your roof. My heart gets it a bit better; thank you.

  2. Cathy says:

    Lary, I hope you know that this speech prompted my 3rd semester project, a writing workshop for vets. May only blessings come from your sharing of this experience.

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