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Ear to the Ground

Young Vietnamese Doctor’s Diary Becomes Bestseller

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Posted on Jun 5, 2006
Vietnamese bestseller
Doan Bao Chau for The International Herald Tribune

Dr. Tram’s mother, Doan Ngoc Tram, with a picture of her daughter. Mrs. Tram and another daughter traveled to Texas to recover Dr. Tram’s diary.

The author, a 27-year-old woman who was killed in 1970, wrote of “love, loneliness and death on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.” It has become an Anne Frank-like sensation in Vietnam. The universal nature of her themes is an incredible reminder of the folly of war and of demonizing our enemies.


N.Y. Times:

A lost wartime diary by a doctor in which she tells of love, loneliness and death on the Ho Chi Minh Trail has become a best seller in Vietnam, bringing the war alive for a new generation of readers.

The journey of the diary itself has given it a special postwar symbolism for people here. It was returned to the doctor’s family just last year by a former American soldier who recovered it after she died on the battlefield in 1970.

The writer, Dang Thuy Tram, was killed at the age of 27 in an American assault after she had served in a war-zone clinic for more than three years. Among the intertwining passions she expressed were her longing for a lost lover and her longing to join the Communist Party.

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If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Kalvin Ly, March 27, 2007 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was born in Loas, and left my country at age of sixteen more than 30 years ago because of the communist invasion. Ever since I have hated the Vietcons. By reading a part of this diary in a local news paper, I started to have a different feeling. I’d like to read the rest of the diary. When it will be available in the US in English language?

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By Colin Walker, June 7, 2006 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sir -

  Any information on when this book will become

  available in an English language translation ?

  It would do the U.S.A. a world of good to see

  things from the perspective of the ” other “.

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