Hero, Loser, or victim?
Hero , Loser , or Victim
A Book Report on When Heaven and Earth Changed Places
By Le Ly Hayslip and Jay Wurt
When do you think Heaven and Earth Change places ? This outstanding book will tell you when and make you understand why . When Heaven and Earth Changed Places ‘ is a sensitive memoir chronicling Le Ly Hayslip peasant life in Ky La (now called Xa Hoa Qui , near Danang in Central Vietnam Le Ly Hayslip or Phung Thi Le Ly is an award- winning Vietnamese-American author , humanitarian and businesswoman . Her first memoir [banner_entry_middle]
is a tale of her life struggling between two wars from her childhood days to her adolescence , her escape to the United States until her eventual return to her native land . She was born in 1949 to a devout Buddhist family . During this time Ho Chi Minh waged a resistance movement with the Viet Minh against the French . Rebels had widespread support among the peasants . As a child , Le Ly worked as a spy and saboteurs along with many of her fellow villagers . It took about eight long years before France finally decided to leave Vietnam with the condition that it would be split between North and South Vietnam
This is the war-torn reality that Le Ly grew up with . Her book is a brave account of her experiences , her horrors , her struggles and her adjustments . At a tender age , she had suffered near-starvation imprisonment , torture , rape and the deaths of beloved family members She experienced the war from every side : as a member of the Viet Cong , a war profiteer , a friend and ally of the American GIs and a prisoner of war . Her story is not unique in the sense that it was experienced by almost everyone else in their village but what made it exceptional is that she never lost faith in herself and in the people around her . She talked about honor , personal strength , commitment and forgiveness never succumbing to temptations of blame , self-pity nor cynicism . Her story is so rich with gripping details that Oliver Stone picked her novel as the basis of his movie Heaven and Earth
In 1970 , she left for the United States with her two children and her American husband . They settled in San Diego where he died a few years later . Le Ly briefly remarried , but her second husband died shortly after their wedding leaving her alone to raise her three boys . Almost 20 years after her escape to America , she was drawn inexorably back to the devastated country and family she left behind . Hayslip started The East Meets West Foundation in 1988 , a humanitarian relief organization that aims to heal some of the war wounds of all sides involved . The foundation has established health centers and schools in Vietnam and provides emotional treatment for American GIs who were scarred by their experiences in the war
Hero , Loser or Victim ? Le Ly is certainly not a loser , a victim – yes in a way but definitely a hero . Reading the… [banner_entry_footer]
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