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.