Reading the Wind

The Literature of the Vietnam War

Reading the Wind

Book Pages: 186 Illustrations: Published: November 1986

Author: Timothy J. Lomperis

Contributor: John Clark Pratt

Subjects
American Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism

The decade following the American defeat in Vietnam has been filled with doubts about American politics and values, confusion over the lessons of the war, and anger about the physical and psychological suffering that occurred during the war as well as thereafter. In the years since the U.S. withdrawal, our need to make sense of Vietnam has prompted an outpouring of thinking and writing, from scholarly reappraisals of American foreign policy to highly personal accounts of participants. On the tenth anniversary of the final U. S. withdrawal, the Asia Society sponsored a conference on the Vietnam experience in American literature at which leading writers, critics, publishers, commentators, and academics wrestled with this phenomenon. Drawing on the synergy of this conference, Timothy J. Lomperis has produced an original work that focuses on the growing body of literature—including novels, personal accounts, and oral histories—which describes the experiences of American soldiers in Vietnam as well as the experience of veterans upon their return home.

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Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword vii

Acknowledgments xi

Interpretative Critique: "Reading the Wind" / Timothy J. Lomperis

Introduction: The Shoals of Yin and Yang 3

1. The Keynote: "Artistic Resolution, Societal Resolution" 13

2. The High Tide of Passion: The Impact of the Literature 25

Essay: The Crybaby Veterans 36

3. Down the Slippery Slope: Tensions Between Fact and Fiction 41

Essay: What Are the Facts? 55

4. The Great Lost Fact: The Asians 63

Essay: Reading the Asian Wind 74

5. Truth—Whither Goest Thou? The Role of Literature in Understanding the War 83

Essay: The Iliad and the Kieu: Building Understanding 93

Conclusion: America's Future in Asia (and at Home) 101

Bibliographic Commentary: "From the Fiction, Some Truths" / John Clark Pratt 115

Author/Title List for the Bibliographic Commentary 155

Bibliography of the Interpretative Critique 159

List of Named Participants 165

Conference Program 168

Index 171
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-0749-5
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