Tram’s diaries bring war alive for new generation of Vietnamese readers

June 1, 2006

   05/31/2006 — 18:16(GMT+7)

New York (VNA) – The International Herald Tribune on May 30 carried an article written by Seth Mydans about Dang Thuy Tram’s diaries.

“The lost wartime diary by a female doctor that 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 International Herald Tribune reports.

According to the daily newspaper, the journey of the diary itself added to its special postwar symbolism for people in Viet Nam. It was returned to her family just last year by a former American soldier who recovered it after Tram died on the battlefield in 1970.

The writer of the diaries, Dr. Dang Thuy Tram, was killed at the age of 27 in an American assault after serving in a war zone clinic for more than three years. Among her intertwining passions are her longing for a lost lover and her longing to join the Communist Party, the daily said.

The paper reported that when the diaries were first serialized in newspapers last year, people cut and saved the articles, passed them on to friends and read them aloud to each other. When published as a book, its print run was a sensational 300,000 or more in a country where books are generally published in small quantities.

The book's huge press run reflects real demand, Peter Zinoman, a professor of Vietnamese history at the University of California at Berkeley, was quoted by the daily as saying.

He said Tram might now enter an official pantheon of wartime heroes who include a number of brave young women.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anh Kyong Hwan of the Republic of Korea (RoK)-based Youngsan University’s Vietnamese language faculty, is translating the diaries into Korean. The translation is expected to be published this July.-Enditem

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