Archives de catégorie : Signalements

Mithouna : La Route n°9. Témoignage sur le goulag laotien [2001]

En 1975, les Communistes prennent le pouvoir au royaume du Laos. Dans les jours qui suivent, tous les officiers et sous-officiers de l’armée royale laotienne sont arrêtés et déportés dans des camps de rééducation. Les voilà condamnés sans jugement à une peine dont ils ignorent la durée pour des crimes qu’ils n’ont pas commis. Parmi eux, Mithouna, l’auteur de ce livre.

 

C’est la vie dans quelques-uns de ces camps, établis à proximité de la Route n°9, puis dans une prison à régime sévère, que nous décrit Mithouna. Son récit, vivant et détaillé, constitue un précieux témoignage sur l’un des aspects les plus sombres et les plus ignorés du Laos contemporain. C’est en même temps une leçon de courage : on y voit comment l’auteur, grâce à sa force d’âme, sa patience et son intelligence, parvient à traverser sans désespérer ces terribles années, puis à retrouver la liberté.

Mithouna s’était juré de témoigner un jour. Avec ce livre c’est chose faite.

Mithouna vit désormais avec sa famille en France, où il a obtenu l’asile politique, puis la nationalisté française. Outre ses activités professionnelles, il compose en laotien des poèmes et des chansons.

André Rosset a fait connaissance de Mithouna dans le cadre de ses activités bénévoles dans un comité local d’aide aux réfugiés du sud-est asiatique. (présentation de la quatrième de couverture).

Réf. : Mithouna (avec André Rosset), La Route n° 9. Témoignage sur le goulag laotien, Paris, L’Harmattan, Mémoires asiatiques, 2001, 398 p.

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Truong Minh Hoa: The Dark Journey. Inside the Reeducation Camps of Viet Cong

[ndlr] L’ouvrage publié en 2010 par Truong Minh Hoa suscita une vive polémique sur Amazon et certains blogs politiques vietnamiens. Elle est alimentée par les articles virulents de cet auteur publiés sur le site Tin Paris. Au delà de ces querelles de personnes (qui révèlent de profondes fractures au sein de la communauté exilée), l’ouvrage très instructif sur le système concentrationnaire de la RSVN notamment au Sud est à signaler.

Book presentation: Two days after Saigon fell to the communists, Hoa Minh Truong walked along the path leading to the Tan Xuyen village council. He had been there many times during his army service but this time he was filled with fear. The extra-tight security included a young Viet Cong trooper who clutched a Russian-made AK-47 automatic rifle in his small hands. The gun was just one of many multi-death tools supplied in the name of revolution by the major communist powers to Vietnam’s communists. The trooper could not have been more than fifteen years old. In the yard next to the building Hoa noticed a huge heap of uniforms, helmets, boots, belts and ammunition. All of these items had been dumped there when the South Vietnam government surrendered and ordered its forces to disarm. Hoa was on the losing side of the war for reasons that, to him, remained unclear and unacceptable. Now, he and many thousands of others were being forced into so-called re-education camps. Held there without trial, these prisoners faced terrible conditions and cruel punishments. Many did not survive, but Hoa did. In this remarkable book, he offers his story to the world. Author Hoa Minh Truong is a well-published author of fiction, non-fiction and poetry in the Vietnamese language. He now lives in Perth, Australia with his wife and daughter.

Réf. : Truong Minh Hoa, The dark journey. Inside the reeducation camps of Vietcong, Durham CT, Eloquent Books, 2010, 246 p.

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Review :

Sherree Broadhurst: This book should be compulsory reading (05/03/2012)

Well named, « The Dark Journey » is a story that needs to be told. It is a revealing breakdown of the political background to the rise of communism in Vietnam, and at the same time, it graphically describes the hardships endured by political prisoners caught in the crossfire of malicious communistic policies enforced by vindictive cadres. Nobody should have to suffer what Mr Truong and over 100,000 other political prisoners had to endure. His story evokes sympathy from the reader in direct proportion to the atrocities he experienced. It is a heavy book to read, but the effort is worth it for the revelations it contains, and the greater empathy awakened in the reader for political prisoners everywhere, for refugees, and for soldiers who fought in the Vietnamese and other Asian wars.

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L’ouvrage a été auparavant publié en langue vietnamienne (une première fois en 1998 selon l’auteur et réédition ci-dessous en 2006, Australie)

Doan Van Toai : Le goulag vietnamien [1979]

Témoignage d’un ancien dirigeant étudiant de l’opposition au régime sud-vietnamien militant pour la paix et un Sud-Vietnam neutre et indépendant de Hanoï, deux fois emprisonné sous le régime de Nguyen Van Thieu :

« Après la chute de Saïgon en avril 1975, très vite, comme ses amis de la gauche, il se rend compte qu’il a été trompé. Ce sont les communistes du Nord qui s’emparent de tous les leviers de commande et qui imposent leurs méthodes. Par centaines de milliers, les militaires et fonctionnaires de l’ancien régime sont internés dans des camps de « rééducation » dont ils ne reviennent pas. Les prisons sont bondées de prisonniers politiques. Un soir de juin 1975, c’est le tour de Doan Van Toai. Il ne sera libéré qu’en novembre 1977, grâce au fait que sa femme est de nationalité française » (quatrième de couverture).

 

En annexe figure notamment un Appel à l’opinion mondiale approuvé par 40 de ses co-détenus parmi lesquels d’anciens membres importants du Parti Communiste vietnamien et d’anciens chefs militaires du Front National de Libération du Sud-Vietnam. L’auteur, né en 1945, Vice-Président de l’Union des Étudiants de Saigon en 1969 et 1970, devient, après la chute du régime Thieu, cadre au ministère des Finances. Son opposition à un supérieur, sur un plan purement professionnel, provoque son emprisonnement. Après sa libération, il quitte le Vietnam en mai 1978, pour Paris. En août 1989, alors qu’il promeut un projet de rapprochement entre exilés et gouvernement vietnamien et milite pour l’établissement de relations diplomatiques entre les États-Unis et le Vietnam, il est victime d’un attentat à Fresno (Californie) : il est sérieusement blessé par arme à feu par deux Asiatiques.

Réf. : Doan Van Toai, Le goulag vietnamien, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1979, 341 p. (récit recueilli par Michel Voirol)

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The Vietnamese Gulag

Doan Van Toai spent time in jails in South Vietnam for antigovernment activities as a student leader, including a trip to the U.S. to deliver antiwar speeches at California universities. When the Communists took over in 1975, he went to work for the Revolutionary Finance Committee and observed at close hand the workings of the new regime. Then, without warning, he was thrown into prison, where for 28 months he suffered torture, starvation, disease and despair. Just as abruptly, he was released and allowed to leave the countrystill not knowing why he had been arrested. In this effective, absorbing memoir, the authors describe in detail the « insidious inhumanity » of the Communist government (« far worse than that of the foreign oppressors ») as it took control in Saigon. Toai, who now lives in California, accurately refers to himself as the first articulate messenger of the new order, and his message is directed at « the Vietnamese community abroad who had supported the revolution, and the foreign antiwar movements that had done so much to bring it about. » (From Publishers Weekly).

Every Communist party in power has established prison systems that mix torture, brutality, starvation, and the use of informants to crush real and imagined enemies. Toai, a Saigon student leader in the 1960s and early 1970s, spearheaded opposition to the pro-U.S. Thieu regime, but failed to cast his lot with the Communist revolutionaries. He was swept into a Communist prison in late 1975, and here tells the story of a would-be Third Force intellectual’s struggle to survive over the following two years. His vivid descriptions of prison life are interspersed with memoirs of his days as a student leader. The material is fascinating, but the narrative flashback technique is irritating. Political memoirs need not be written as if they were movie scripts. (by Steven I. Levine, Sch. of International Service, American Univ., Washington, D.C. – From Library Journal – © 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Réf. : Doan Van Toai (with David Chanoff), The Vietnamese Gulag, Simon & Schuster, 1986, 351 p.

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Der vietnamesische Gulag

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Un document rare de Doan Van Toai

Doan Van Toai, Dossier sur les prisons au Viêt Nam, Paris, R. Laffont, 1978. First Edition. Quarto (30cm); staple-bound, pictorial wrappers; [30]p.

Extremely scarce, hastily-assembled white paper on the status of political prisoners in Vietnam, published a year prior to Van Toai’s landmark work Le Goulag Vietnamien (« The Vietnamese Gulag »), which exposed the brutalities of the Communist regime following the United States’ exit from South Vietnam in 1975. Assembles a number of documents including a « Declaration of disinherited Vietnamese on Human Rights » (1977); « The Vietnamese Patriotic Prisoners’ Testament »; « Document on the penitentiary regime under the communist government of Vietnam » (1978), as well as press releases and news items taken from French and American media. Rare: OCLC locates only one copy in North America (Harvard Yenching Lib – catalogued under the English title « Documents on Prisons in Vietnam).

Source : Lorne Bair Rare Books

Paul Vy Trân : Prisonnier politique au Viêt-Nam [1990]

Ce livre est le premier témoignage sur les camps de concentration pour la rééducation au Nord Viêt-Nam écrit par un intellectuel nationaliste vietnamien qui y a passé 51 mois. Bien qu’il soit toujours difficile de parler d’impartialité quand on est soi-même acteur d’un tel drame, ce qui fait la valeur unique du témoignage du Dr P.V. Trân c’est sa grande objectivité. Il la doit certainement à sa double formation de scientifique et de médecin qui lui permet de porter sur le système carcéral communiste, un regard dépourvu de haine.

P.V. Trân né en 1920, entra dans la Résistance vietnamienne avec le Viêt-Minh dès la fin  de ses études médicales et y resta, malgré sa foi catholique, de 1946 à 1949, avant de quitter son pays pour venir en France quand les communistes eurent annexé toute la Résistance.

Chercheur au CNRS il obtint successivement à Paris son Doctorat ès Sciences naturelles et l’Agrégation de Médecine. Il rentra alors à Saigon pour y enseigner la physiologie. Il devint secrétaire d’Etat à la Santé de 1956 à 1961, puis Directeur de la Recherche Scientifique du Viêt-Nam [Sud] de 1961 à 1965. Envoyé en camp de rééducation en 1975, il y resta jusqu’en 1979. Il ne fut autorisé à rejoindre sa famille à Paris qu’en 1989. (présentation de la quatrième de couverture)

Réf. : Tran, P.V. , Prisonnier politique au Viêt-Nam, 1975-1979, Paris : L’Harmattan, Mémoires asiatiques, 1990, 202 p.

 

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« Thao, l’étrangère » par Caroline Grillot

Grillot, Caroline, Volées, Envolées, Convolées… Vendues, en fuite ou re-socialisées: les “fiancées” vietnamiennes en Chine. Paris: Connaissances et Savoirs, 2010. Extrait ci-dessous publié avec l’autorisation de l’auteure.

 

Thao « tây », l’étrangère (extrait : p. 152-154)

Simple vendeuse de rafraîchissements et de tabac à la buvette de trottoir du poste frontière de Hekou lors de notre première rencontre, Thao m’a très vite remarquée et s’est spontanément présentée à moi comme une « presque sœur », une fois mon identité française précisée. Son visage singulier m’avait d’ailleurs interpellée tandis que je commençais à m’informer sur les mariages mixtes auprès des Vietnamiennes présentes. L’appellation de « sœurs » entre femmes est courante lorsqu’une relation sympathique s’instaure – au Vietnam comme en Chine, cela ne m’aurait pas intriguée davantage si Thao n’avait précisé que son père était français, comme le mien. Un rapide calcul étonnait : née en 1971, de père français, à Yên Bái? Le Vietnam du nord se trouvait alors soumis aux bombardements intensifs des Américains, comment se pouvait-il qu’un Français résidât encore dans la région ? C’était méconnaître un pan de l’histoire coloniale, vite oublié, jamais enseigné. Petit à petit, au cours de dîners chez elle, de discussions fragmentées à la buvette, de retrouvailles au Vietnam à Yên Bái chez sa mère, Thao me révéla son histoire[1] enrichie peu à peu de précisions apportées par son entourage et d’éclairages précieux de Nelcya Delanoë, jusqu’à devenir, de rencontre anecdotique, un exemple singulier parmi ceux pour lesquels je me trouvais à la frontière. J’égrènerai donc la suite de cette étude d’extraits de son récit dont voici l’entrée en matière :

Mon père combattit avec l’armée française à Diên-Bien-Phu, on m’a dit qu’il était Algérien ou Marocain [Après enquête, j’ai pu expliquer le cas de son père à Thao qui confondait Français, Marocain et Algérien. Personne ne lui avait expliqué le pourquoi de l’identité complexe de son père – Marocain engagé dans l’armée coloniale française, rallié au Viêt-minh, resté au Nord-Vietnam vingt ans et rapatrié comme sujet d’un royaume devenu indépendant]. Il m’a abandonnée un an après ma naissance pour retourner dans son pays, il ne m’a laissé qu’un prénom et son nom. Ma mère aussi m’a abandonnée, c’est une mère adoptive qui m’a élevée[2]. Depuis toujours, les gens me surnomment « Thao tay » [Thao l’étrangère]. Je ne le prends pas mal, c’est vrai que je parais différente. Mes cheveux ondulent et je ne ressemble pas tout à fait aux autres Vietnamiennes. Je réagis seulement lorsque mes origines sont prétextes aux insultes. Dans mon enfance, j’ai souffert du manque d’affection, des regards, ça m’a rendu sensible et agressive. J’ai commencé à fumer à quinze ans[3]. Les gens ont toujours su que j’étais une enfant abandonnée puis adoptée. Ma mère s’est souvent disputée avec ceux qui parlaient mal de moi. En tant que femme qui « a couché avec un étranger », elle a également subi une discrimination[4]. Malgré tout, elle m’a élevée, dans la pauvreté, mais dans la compassion. Je la respecte beaucoup. En Chine, les gens sont moins regardants, on m’identifie comme Vietnamienne, c’est tout, chacun s’occupe de ses affaires ici.

Fille d’exclus, jeune femme trafiquée vendue à un paysan de Hekou, échappée, remariée à un Vietnamien de Yên Bái, devenue presque aussi rapidement mère que veuve, Thao s’est alors prostituée, en alternance avec des périodes de concubinages avec certains clients, avant de tenter une réinsertion chez elle. Sans succès, elle cherche aujourd’hui sa place dans un espace social qui a marqué ses trente dernières années, héritière d’une identité métisse, obstacle initial l’ayant précisément conduite vers une marginalité sociale d’autant plus difficile à assumer avec une telle filiation. Elle se situe à la limite de deux catégories, les déterminées et les désespérées, c’est-à-dire déterminée à trouver sa place en Chine ou au Vietnam, auprès d’un compagnon aimant… mais désespérée par les successives déceptions et tromperies subies[5].

 


[1] Le récit ci-dessous est une reconstitution faite à partir de fragments de discussions longues et parfois pénibles dues aux barrières de langues.

[2] Cette femme était mariée, elle aussi, à un Marocain ; le couple adopta Thao dont la mère ne pouvait assumer l’éducation. Pour compliquer l’affaire, il est apparu que Thao serait en réalité la fille illégitime d’un amant, Marocain aussi, raison pour laquelle sa génitrice ne pouvait la garder. En 1972, à l’heure du rapatriement des Marocains et de leur famille au Maroc, elle refusa de quitter son pays et se sauva avec Thao, obligeant le père à partir seul, ce que Thao prenait pour un abandon volontaire jusqu’à ce que les circonstances exactes de la séparation du couple fussent éclaircies.

[3] À l’époque de la rencontre, Thao fumait environ un paquet de cigarettes par jour, dépendance qu’elle expliquait par ses soucis, sa crainte du futur et son malaise identitaire.

[4] La mère adoptive était également la compagne d’un rallié marocain.

[5] Heureusement, à l’heure actuelle (fin 2009), Thao vit dans de bien meilleures conditions qu’elle doit à sa détermination, son courage et la bonne volonté de plusieurs personnes sensibilisées à sa situation.

 

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Résumé de l’ouvrage
Elles vivent discrètement dans les bourgades et villages chinois du Yunnan et du Guangxi, à la frontière de leur pays d’origine. Migrantes clandestines, femmes abusées, des Vietnamiennes de tous âges tentent de vivre décemment une existence d’épouse et de mère, exclues malgré elles de leur communauté. Si leurs consœurs des bordels frontaliers attirent l’attention, ces infortunées ne suscitent guère l’intérêt. Héritières d’un turbulent passé de conflits, de négoce et d’alliances matrimoniales entre Chine et Vietnam, poussées par la pauvreté et l’espoir, elles contribuent pourtant à résoudre un grave problème que la Chine subit depuis peu, conséquence de la politique de contrôle des naissances et de l’exode rural: le manque de filles, et donc d’épouses pour nombre de paysans. Au-delà des explications faciles: difficultés économiques, déséquilibre démographique, trafic humain, cette enquête inédite donne la parole à ces femmes dont l’image ambiguë sert un discours local ambivalent. Fruit d’enquêtes menées très récemment, les témoignages et situations nourrissant cet essai expriment la complexité d’un fait social existant de manière floue entre flux migratoires et transactions commerciales, typiques d’Extrême-Orient et surtout de cet espace frontalier en devenir. Prétendre saisir ces vies souvent réduites à l’impasse, précaires, existant en marge du monde, impose de se confronter au terrain, à l’écoute des épreuves individuelles, sans parti-pris ni compromission et avec humilité.

Philippe M. F. Peycam: The Birth of Vietnamese Political Journalism

Philippe M. F. Peycam, The Birth of Vietnamese Political Journalism : Saigon 1916-1930, Columbia University Press, 2012, xi-306 p.

Philippe M. F. Peycam completes the first ever English-language study of Vietnam’s emerging political press and its resistance to colonialism. Published in the decade that preceded the Communist Party’s founding, this journalistic phenomenon established a space for public, political contestation that fundamentally changed Vietnamese attitudes and the outlook of Southeast Asia.

Peycam directly links Saigon’s colonial urbanization to the creation of new modes of individual and collective political agency. To better justify their presence, French colonialists implemented a peculiar brand of republican imperialism to encourage the development of a highly controlled print capitalism. Yet the Vietnamese made clever use of this new form of political expression, subverting colonial discourse and putting French rulers on the defensive, while simultaneously stoking Vietnamese aspirations for autonomy. Peycam specifically considers the work of Western-educated Vietnamese journalists who, in their legal writings, called attention to the politics of French rule.

Peycam rejects the notion that Communist and nationalist ideologies changed the minds of « alienated » Vietnamese during this period. Rather, he credits colonial urban modernity with shaping the Vietnamese activist-journalist and the role of the French, even at their most coercive, along with the modern public Vietnamese intellectual and his responsibility toward the group. Countering common research on anticolonial nationalism and its assumptions of ethno-cultural homogeneity, Peycam follows the merging of French republican and anarchist traditions with neo-Confucian Vietnamese behavior, giving rise to modern Vietnamese public activism, its autonomy, and its contradictory aspirations. Interweaving biography with archival newspaper and French police sources, he writes from within these journalists’ changing political consciousness and their shifting perception of social roles.

 

Review :

Philippe M. F. Peycam’s vivid account makes a unique contribution to contemporary Vietnamese history and colonial studies. Until now, nothing of this scope has been attempted in English. Previous studies of the Vietnamese press have focused on the communist newspaper La Lutte and less systematic samplings of French-sanctioned publications. Peycam instead gives us portraits of writers, publishers, and editors who for months and years put out popular, often financially viable, newspapers to challenge the status quo. He makes judicious use of the reports of the French security police and brings these men and their peculiar mix of French idealism and colonial hypocrisy to life. His portrait of the rapidly changing society of French Indochina’s major entrepôt emphasizes the hybrid nature of Saigon politics with fascinating detail. (Review by Sophie Quinn-Judge, Temple University, author of Ho Chi Minh : The Missing Years).

Aperçu sur Google Books :

‘Dragon Lady’ Memoirs Incomplete

A Time cover story on Madame Nhu appeared on August 9, 1963.

The official hostess in South Vietnam’s presidential palace says little of her heydays in her book.

The memoirs of Madame Nhu [1924-2011], the « first lady » of South Vietnam who died recently in exile in Rome, are not expected to shed light on her vast wealth and power, according to a family friend.

“Some readers are eagerly waiting for her memoirs because they want to see what she says about the rumor that she had 17 billion U.S. dollars or about the people who killed her husband. She did not mention those stories,” said  Truong Phu Thu, who is  translating the memoirs—already written by her in French— into Vietnamese.

Madame Nhu  was the sister-in-law of Vietnam’s bachelor President Ngo Dinh Diem, who was in power from 1955 until 1963, and considered herself the nation’s First Lady.  She was an influential and deeply feared political figure in the early days of the Vietnam war and was known as the Dragon Lady of South Vietnam.

Her real name was Tran le Xuan but she was popularly known as  Madame Nhu.

Military coup

Her husband, Ngo Dinh Nhu, was Diem’s brother. He controlled the secret police and special forces. Both men were killed in 1963 in a military coup.

“This memoir is not a normal memoir. Normally when you write a memoir, you write about all the stories that happened in your life, both the happy and sad ones, but this book is not like that,” Thu said in an interview.

“Anybody who wants to see sensational stories or any correction of what she had done should be prepared to be disappointed,” he said.

Thu said he had only received the first and second parts of her book—and is unsure if Nhu, who died at the age of 86, finished writing the final part on politics, which many had expected to be sensational.

The book was supposed to be published this September or October, but because of her death publishing will be delayed until next spring.

Nhu  said “she forgave everyone, including people who shot her husband, let alone people who defamed her,” according to Thu.

Meditation

Le Chau Loc, the personal assistant of President Diem who had read part of her book, said she also wrote about  meditation and prayers.

“I thought I was reading a memoir of a nun. I think she was suffering a lot …,” he said. “I think this book can be helpful to a lot of Vietnamese women who have been suffering, [who] lost husbands, or children at sea.”

Many Vietnamese perished when there was a mass emigration in  old and crudely made boats during the late 1970s, fleeing from Communist-controlled Vietnam following the Vietnam War.

Nhu, although married to the president’s brother, helped Diem run his household and offered her opinion on all of his decisions. She was once featured on the cover of Time magazine and became the public face of the South Vietnamese regime in media interviews and overseas speaking tours.

She was particularly outspoken against Buddhist monks who set themselves on fire in protest at Diem’s crackdowns.

Her harsh and confrontational words and actions forced her Buddhist father to quit as ambassador to the United States.

Quiet life

After the deaths of her husband and Diem, Madame Nhu was unable to return to Vietnam. She lived with her children in exile in France and Italy, where she led a quiet life until she was hospitalized in early April.

Thu said he had been receiving phone calls and emails enquiring about Nhu’s book, which she began writing about 10 years ago.

Thu said she first wanted translate it into Italian and English by herself but then changed her mind because it took too much time to write and also after being told her the readers would be mostly Vietnamese.

Reported for RFA’s Vietnamese service and translated by Viet Ha. Written in English by Rachel Baker.

Source : RFA, 2011-05-04.

Jackie Bong-Wright: Autumn Cloud – From Vietnam War Widow to American Activist [2001]

Jackie Bong-Wright, Autumn cloud: From Vietnam war widow to American activist, Sterling, Va., Capital Books, 2001, 311 p.

While the Vietnam War is deeply ingrained in a generation of Americans, its history is often one-sided – flavored with blame, corrupt generals and politicians, drugs, and the Viet Cong. What is rarely heard is the compelling story of ordinary people who struggled amidst chaos and upheaval. « Autumn Cloud » is that story. Born at the beginning of World War II, Jackie Bong Wright stands at the center of the modern Indochinese drama. « Autumn Cloud » follows Ms. Wright as she moves from girlhood on a Cambodian rubber plantation to school in Paris, marries a leading political dissident who is later murdered, escapes to America in 1975 with her children, and makes a new life here with a new American husband.

 

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Le Thi Thu Van, whose first name translates as Autumn Cloud, was born in 1940 in Cambodia, where her affluent Vietnamese parents lived. She and her large family, like millions of other southern Vietnamese, were profoundly affected by the wars and civil unrest that buffeted Southeast Asia for most of the next four decades: the Japanese occupation during World War II; the First Indochina War from 1945 to 1954, which ended with the humiliating French defeat at Dien Bien Phu; and the American war, which began incrementally in the mid-’50s, peaked in the late-’60s and ended ingloriously with the Communist victory in 1975. Le Thi Thu Van’s family suffered in many ways during these momentous events. The family fortune was lost; one sister abandoned the family to devote her life to the Communist revolution; a brother was killed in the American war; another brother did not survive the Communist postwar « re-education » camps. The author married a reform-minded South Vietnamese politician; he was assassinated, probably by the Vietcong. She was left with three young children. Le Thi Thu Van tells three stories in this smoothly written autobiography: her own, her family’s and Vietnam’s. The most effective sections are the straightforward depictions of the many and varied events of the author’s life and her explanations of Vietnamese society and culture. The least successful are the sketchy historical sections and the author’s staunchly anti-Communist analyses of the reasons behind the American defeat. Overall, though, the author shows very well how Le Thi Thu Van went from « being an innocent girl to a sophisticated wife, an unexpected widow, and finally a professional woman, » known on three continents as Jackie Bong Wright.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

 

 Source : Virtual Saigon © 1973 New York Times / Barbara Gluck Treaster

Lan P. Duong: Treacherous Subjects – Gender, Culture, and Trans-Vietnamese Feminism

Avis de parution. Lan P. Duong, Treacherous Subjects: Gender, Culture, and Trans-Vietnamese Feminism, Temple University Press, Asian American History & Culture, 2012, 264 p.

Treacherous Subjects is a provocative and thoughtful examination of Vietnamese films and literature viewed through a feminist lens. Lan Duong investigates the postwar cultural productions of writers and filmmakers, including Tony Bui, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Tran Anh Hung. Taking her cue from the double meaning of « collaborator, » Duong shows how history has shaped the loyalties and shifting alliances of the Vietnamese, many of whom are caught between opposing/constricting forces of nationalism, patriarchy, and communism.

Working at home and in France and the United States, the artists profiled in Treacherous Subjects have grappled with the political and historic meanings of collaboration. These themes, which probe into controversial issues of family and betrayal, figure heavily in fictions such as the films The Scent of Green Papaya and Surname Viet Given Name Nam. As writers and filmmakers collaborate, Duong suggests that they lay the groundwork for both transnational feminist politics and queer critiques of patriarchy.

Lan P. Duong is Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside.

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« Duong’s Treacherous Subjects inaugurates sui generis the field of diasporic Vietnamese feminism. She instructs us what objects and subjects to look at and study, how they might be comprehended, and why such inquiry is so crucial for all of us. I can’t think of another cultural studies project in a decade that has accomplished so much in one book. Duong’s careful consideration of both filmic and literary genres demonstrates her explicatory erudition. Treacherous Subjects is a monumental work upon which a generation of future students and scholars will build. It will establish Duong as the principal intellectual figure of the field she will have helped to establish. »
James Kyung-Jin Lee, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Asian American Studies, University of California, Irvine.

* * *

« Treacherous Subjects offers a new reading of literary and filmic texts by Vietnamese and Vietnamese diasporics that rethinks the nation in its gendered, sexualized, and political economic representations. Duong argues that Vietnamese writers and filmmakers from Vietnam, France, and the U.S. evoke the family to imagine the body politic, which is now a transnational one. Duong’s methods are very innovative. In each chapter, she pairs works by artists in different national contexts. Her approach allows for new ways to think through a number of issues with political import. I know of few books that put forth this reading which problematizes the nation and its heteronormative boundaries as effectively as this work does. »
Nguyen-vo Thu-huong, Associate Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures, and Asian American Studies, UCLA

 

Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Manufacturing Feminine Virtue for the Diaspora: The Films of Tony Bui and Tran Anh Hung
2. Colonial Histories, Postcolonial Narratives: Traitors and Collaborators in Vietnamese Women’s Diasporic Literature
3. Heroines and Traitors: The Gendered Fictions of Đặng Nhật Minh and Dương Thư Hương
4. Traitors and Translators: Reframing Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Surname Viet Given Name Nam and A Tale of Love
5. Betraying Feminine Virtue: Collaborative Effects and the Transnational Circuits of Vietnamese Popular Culture
Conclusion: Family Politics and the Art of Collaboration
Notes
Works Cited
Index

Source : Temple University Press

Gina Marie Weaver : Ideologies of Forgetting – Rape in the Vietnam War

Gina Marie Weaver, Ideologies of Forgetting. Rape in the Vietnam War, New York, State University of New York Press, 2010, 198 p.

First book to study rape and sexual abuse of Vietnamese women by U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War.

Rape has long been a part of war, and recent conflicts in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur demonstrate that it may be becoming an even more integral strategy of modern warfare. In contrast to the media attention to sexual violence against women in these recent conflicts, however, the incidence and consequences of rape in the Vietnam War have been largely overlooked. Using testimony, oral accounts, literature, and film, Ideologies of Forgetting focuses on the rape and sexual abuse of Vietnamese women by U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War, and argues that the erasure and elision of these practices of sexual violence in the U.S. popular imagination perpetuate the violent masculinity central to contemporary U.S. military culture. Gina Marie Weaver claims that recognition of this violence is important not just for an accurate historical record, but also to truly understand the Vietnam veteran’s trauma, which often stems from his aggression rather than his victimization.

“This is exactly the moment to take a new hard hook at the incidents of rape in the U.S. war in Vietnam—and its extended consequences for both the victims and the perpetrators of those rapes.” — Cynthia Enloe, author of Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link

“At a time when the phrase ‘support our troops’ has become a national mantra, recognition of how that support was enabled and narrativized becomes even more important.” — Susan Jeffords, author of The Remasculinization of America: Gender and the Vietnam War

Gina Marie Weaver is Assistant Professor of English at Southern Nazarene University.

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