“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.
About the Author
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.
“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
“Should not be missed by anyone. . . . No one who reads it will ever be able to think about the Vietnam War in quite the same way again.” —The Washington Post
“A wonderful, wondrous book by a remarkable woman.” —Amy Tan, author of The Valley of Amazement
“Touching and illuminating . . . A searing and human account.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Riveting and historic. . . . Engrossing and beautifully told. . . . Impossible to put down.”—San Francisco Chronicle