Read The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family by Duong Van Mai Elliott Free Online
Book Title: The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family|
The author of the book: Duong Van Mai Elliott
Edition: Oxford University Press, USA
Date of issue: April 10th 1999
ISBN 13: 9780195124347
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 38.63 MB
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A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Duong Van Mai Elliott's The Sacred Willow illuminates recent Vietnamese history by weaving together the stories of the lives of four generations of her family. Beginning with her great-grandfather, who rose from rural poverty to become an influential landowner, and continuing to the present, Mai Elliott traces her family's journey through an era of tumultuous change. She tells us of childhood hours in her grandmother's silk shop, and of hiding while French troops torched her village, watching while blossoms torn by fire from the trees flutter "like hundreds of butterflies" overhead. She makes clear the agonizing choices that split Vietnamese families: her eldest sister left her staunchly anti-communist home to join the Viet Minh, and spent months sleeping in jungle camps with her infant son, fearing air raids by day and tigers by night. And she follows several family members through the last, desperate hours of the fall of Saigon-including one nephew who tried to escape by grabbing the skid of a departing American helicopter. Based on family papers, dozens of interviews, and a wealth of other research, this is not only a memorable family saga but a record of how the Vietnamese themselves have experienced their times.
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Read information about the authorMai Elliott, a graduate of Georgetown University, was born and raised in Vietnam. Upon graduating from Georgetown, she returned to Saigon, where she worked for the Rand Corporation interviewing Viet Cong prisoners of war and defectors for a research project to determine the morale and motivation of the guerrillas during the Vietnam War. She met her American husband, David Elliott, now a professor of Political Science, while a student in Washington, D.C., and the two married in Saigon.
In the years following her move to the United States with her husband, she made several trips to Vietnam. Her most recent visits included trips as a guest lecturer for an Asia Society tour in February 2000, as a member of a private Vietnamese-American delegation vetted by the White House for President Clinton's visit to Vietnam in November 2000, and as a guest lecturer for Smithsonian study tours in February 2001 and March 2002.
After a long career in corporate banking, she resigned her job to write her family story, The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family, which was published by Oxford University Press in April 1999 (under the name of Duong Van Mai Elliott). The Sacred Willow was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was a finalist for the Asian-American literary award in the year 2000.