When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace

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Anchor Books, a division of Random House LLC, 2017 - Biography & Autobiography - 444 pages
"One of the most important books of Vietnamese American and Vietnam War literature...Moving, powerful." --Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer

In these pages, Le Ly Hayslip--just twelve years old when U.S. helicopters landed in her tiny village of Ky La--shows us the Vietnam War as she lived it. Initially pressed into service by the Vietcong, Le Ly was captured and imprisoned by government forces. She found sanctuary at last with an American contractor and ultimately fled to the United States. Almost twenty years after her escape, Le Ly found herself inexorably drawn back to the devastated country and loved ones she'd left behind, and returned to Vietnam in 1986. Scenes of this joyous reunion are interwoven with the brutal war years, creating an extraordinary portrait of the nation, then and now--and of one courageous woman who held fast to her faith in humanity.

First published in 1989, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places was hailed as an instant classic. Now, some two decades later, this indispensable memoir continues to be one of our most important accounts of a conflict we must never forget.

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User Review  - bobbieharv - LibraryThing

Read this while I was in Vietnam. Very interesting and horrific personal account of growing up during the American War, as they call it, by a woman who as a child both worked for and was tortured by ... Read full review

When heaven and earth changed places: a Vietnamese woman's journey from war to peace

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Hayslip was born a Vietnamese peasant in 1949; little more than 20 years later she left for the United States with an American husband. Her early years were spent as a Viet Cong courier and lookout; a ... Read full review


Coming Back
Fathers and Daughters
Open Wounds
Losing the Way
Losing Love
A Question of Faith
A Different View
Sisters and Brothers
Power on Earth
Almost in Paradise
Finding a Family
Finding Peace
Letting Go
A Song of Enlightenment
Afterword to the Anchor Books Edition
Acknowledgments to the Anchor Books Edition

Daughters and Sons

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About the author (2017)

Phung Le Ly Hayslip was born in Vietnam in 1950. She is the author of two memoirs--When Heaven and Earth Changed Places and Child of War, Woman of Peace--which were adapted into the film Heaven and Earth by Oliver Stone. Since 1986, she has helped rebuild her motherland through the two charitable organizations she established. Her efforts now focus exclusively on supporting the orphanages she founded in Vietnam.

Jay Wurts, an Air Guard pilot during the Vietnam War, has written and edited a variety of books.


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