Course Description

ONLINE: How did the American war in Vietnam look when seen through non-American eyes? We will explore this question by discussing three literary portraits: "The Quiet American," a novel by British author and journalist Graham Greene; "The Sorrow of War," a novel by Vietnamese war veteran Bao Ninh; and "A Vietcong Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath" by Truong Nhu Tang. At roughly 200 pages each, the two novels are miracles of craft and compression. They also stand out as books you could strike up a conversation about in Vietnam, Britain or America. "A Vietcong Memoir" adds personal depth, nuance and lived history to what can otherwise be a monochrome name, "Viet Cong." The goal is not to challenge American perspectives on the war but to add to them. We will read all of both novels and a large portion of the memoir. These books include graphic scenes of war and some depictions of sexual violence. The maximum number of pages to be read for a class meeting is 100. | Facilitated discussion.

Max enrollment: 24.

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Section Title
Literature of War in Vietnam
Online - Zoom
1:30PM to 2:45PM
Sep 13, 2022 to Nov 15, 2022
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Virtual Classroom  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Required: For ease of page references during class meetings, preferred versions are Penguin Classics for "The Quiet American," Riverhead Books for "The Sorrow of War," and Vintage Books for "A Vietcong Memoir"; see the indicated ISBNs. Before the first class, please read the first half of "The Quiet American," from the beginning through the end of Part II, Chapter 2.

Required reading:
Bao Ninh, "The Sorrow of War" (9781573225434)
Graham Greene, "The Quiet American" (9780143039020)
Truong Nhu Tang, "A Vietcong Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath" (9780394743097)

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