Nobody Gets Off the Bus:
The Viet Nam Generation Big Book
Volume 5 Number 1-4
This text, made available by the Sixties Project, is copyright (c) 1996 by Viet Nam Generation, Inc., or the author, all rights reserved. This text may be used, printed, and archived in accordance with the Fair Use provisions of U.S. Copyright law. This text may not be archived, printed, or redistributed in any form for a fee, without the consent of the copyright holder. This notice must accompany any redistribution of the text. The Sixties Project, sponsored by Viet Nam Generation Inc. and the Institute of Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, is a collective of humanities scholars working together on the Internet to use electronic resources to provide routes of collaboration and make available primary and secondary sources for researchers, students, teachers, writers and librarians interested in the 1960s.
It's been so long since our last issue that D.S. "Danny" Lliteras has published another novel. Into the Ashes is a sequel to In the Heart of Things. It follows protagonist Llewellen, the homeless Zen initiate, into the personal problems that follow upon a rigorous course of detachment from desire. At least, that what it sounds like from the publisher's write-up. In the Heart of Things is good enough to make any sequel worth checking out. See write-up of Navy vet Lliteras and his work on page 21 of Viet Nam Generation 4:3-4. Contact: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 891 Norfolk Square, Norfolk, VA 23502, 804-459- 2453, FAX 455-8907, Orders 800-766-8009.
New in Paperback: MIA or Mythmaking in America, by H. Bruce Franklin
Almost two decades after the Vietnam War, most Americans remain convinced that U.S. prisoners are still being held captive in Southeast Asia, and many even accuse the government of concealing their existence. But as H. Bruce Franklin demonstrates in his startling investigation, there is no plausible basis for the belief in live POWs. Through scrupulous research, he shows for the first time how this illusion was fabricated and then converted into a powerful myth. This paperback edition of MIA or Mythmaking in America adds major new material about illegal operations authorized by Ronald Reagan, Ross Perot's role in the 1991-1992 Senate investigation, and the controversy over the document Stephen J. Morris claims to have discovered in Moscow. H. Bruce Franklin is the John Cotton Dana Professor of English and American Studies at Rutgers University in Newark and is the author of War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination and many other books. (246pp. Paper $9.95.)
This is the text of a letter sent to our offices:
I am writing as the editor of Dien Dan, an independent Vietnamese samizdat newspaper published by a group of Vietnamese students living and studying in Prague and other parts of Czechoslovakia.
For more than two years we have been a modest but crucial information conduit and discussion form (Dien Dan means "forum") for the thousands of Vietnamese who study and work in this country and others in the region. Now we would like to publish translations of great books that are as yet unavailable in Vietnamese for political reasons and we are asking for your help in printing the first one: Animal Farm, by George Orwell.
We are convinced that Vietnamese contract workers who have witnessed the revolutions in former Communist countries and been exposed to information and ideas about freedom and democracy will return to Vietnam with a new awareness of the inhumanity of the current Communist dictatorship and the inevitability of changing this system to a democratic one.
We have chosen Orwell's works to translate because we believe that the ideas in works like 1984 and Animal Farm will certainly have a great impact on Vietnam's future democrats.
Having obtained the rights to translate and publish a Vietnamese edition of Animal Farm from Orwell's estate, we are now trying to raise funds for the book's printing. We hope to print 2000 copies of the book at a cost of 45,000 Czechoslovak crowns, or $2000. With every addition $70 we can print an additional 100 copies. The book will be sold at cost when possible, with any funds paying for future printings. All our projects are strictly nonprofit.
For a very small investment, we can bring a thought provoking novel into the Vietnamese language for thousands of young Vietnamese who will soon be returning to their homeland during a pivotal historical period. By helping to print books like this you could be helping to plant a seed of democracy and critical thought in Vietnam.
On behalf of the staff of Dien Dan, I thank you for your attention.
Tran Hong Ha, editor in chief
If you would like more information, contact Dien Dan, c/o Camille Sweeny, Center for Independent Journalism, Vodickova 36, 2nd floor, 110 00 Prague 1, Czechoslovakia.
New Poems by W.D. Ehrhart
I received a review copy of W.D. Ehrhart's The Distance We Travel (Adastra Press, 1993), a slim volume of forty-six pages, printed letterpress with hand-set Goudy Oldstyle types on Classic Laid, on recycled and acid free paper, sewn by hand, and wrapped with Environment's Desert Storm cover paper. The volume was produced in a limited edition of 400 copies. The paperback is $10; the clothbound volume, signed & numbered 1-50, is $30. Adastra's three previous volumes of Ehrhart's work were lovely. Winter Bells (1988), was a beautiful piece of work-- in my opinion it's the loveliest book of Ehrhart's poems yet produced-- so I was really looking forward to The Distance We Travel. The twenty-two poems comprise some of Ehrhart's best work to date, including "Finding My Old Battalion Command Post," "Sleeping with General Chi," and "The Distance We Travel." For that reason alone, the paperback edition is worth the $10 price tag. But in the forty-six pages are twelve typographical errors, some of them egregious, including dropped words, dropped phrases, and even dropped lines, as well as transformed words ("nicked" becoming "kicked," for example). Furthermore, the quality of the printing is not up to Adastra's usual standards-- the combination of rough paper and insufficient ink make the type difficult to read. The poet's work clearly deserves better treatment.
Focus on Australian Women's Experiences
Maggie Hamilton of Transworld Publishers sent us promo material on a new publication by Siobhan McHugh titled Minefields and Mini-Skirts: Women and the Viet Nam War (Transworld Publishers, Bantam Corgi Doubleday Dell, 40 Yeo St., Neutral Bay 2089, Australia. FAX: 02/953-8563; phone: 02/908-4366). Hamilton notes that the book is not available for general distribution in the States, but that copies can be purchased direct form Transworld for $25 U.S. which includes surface mail postage. (My advice is to pay extra for the airmail postage, since books sent surface mail from Australia sometimes take six to eight months to arrive in the States.) The promo notes:
This is a book about the experiences of Australian women in and around the Vietnam war--never-before-told stories from those who were there, and from those deeply and personally affected by the war. In Minefields and Miniskirts, nurses, mothers, wives, secretaries, journalists, Vietnamese women, and others speak for themselves. The book is neither a treatise for or against war-- it is at once a searing, honest, sometimes humorous and deeply human account of war and its effects on individuals and society.
Despite the florid language of the accompanying literature, the book itself looks like it contains a number of interesting stories, and a point of view, which most of us are likely to be unfamiliar with. For example, one schoolteacher, an Australian peace activist, explains: "I supported a boy who was suspended for wearing a Moratorium badge. As a result of this and other expressed views, I became so victimized I resigned..., not knowing the principal and staff collaborated to write a defamatory report about me to the Department of Education. Thus I was blacklisted and denied employment for nine subsequent years." Apparently returned Australian service women who sought to march with male veterans on Anzac Day or to join the RSL were repeatedly informed that they could not be veterans because "there were no women in Vietnam."
Amerasia Journal's New Data-Base Bibliography: Asian American Communities in Transition
From their press release:
The UCLA Asian American Studies Center announces the publication of its Volume 18, Number 3 issue, which focuses on the Asian American communities in transition through its annual bibliography of Asian American materials. Glenn Omatsu, associate editor of the journal, states in his introduction to the 1,700 entry bibliography that: "Our community is 'moving' from a relatively defined past--a history of stereotypes and racism involving a small minority population, largely Chinese and Japanese American--to a much more complex present marked by new immigration, ethnic diversity, and class differentiation." This year's bibliography was done on an electronic data base format which will enable researchers to search all entries not only by author and subject matter, but also by twenty Asian Pacific ethnic groups-- Cambodian, Chinese, Fijian, Filipino, Guamamian, Okinawan, Pakistani, Samoan, Taiwanese, Thai, Tongan, Vietnamese, etc. Amerasia Journal is available for $7 per issue plus $2 handling, or a subscription for $
18 annually. Mailing address: Amerasia Journal, 3230 Campbell Hall, Asian American Studies Center, UCLA, LA, CA 90024-1546.