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Last Night I Dreamed of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram Paperback – Illustrated, October 7, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 152 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Now available for the first time in English – faithfully translated by Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnamese American journalist Pham – [LAST NIGHT I DREAMED OF PEACE] is witness to the unjust horrors and countless tragedies of war, a reminder made more pertinent every day.”
The Bloomsbury Review

Last Night I Dreamed of Peace is a book to be read by all and included in any course on the literature of war.”
Chicago Tribune

“Remarkable. . . . A gift from a heroine who was killed at twenty-seven but whose voice has survived to remind us of the humanity and decency that endure amid—and despite—the horror and chaos of war.”
—Francine Prose, O, The Oprah Magazine

“As much a drama of feelings as a drama of war.”
—Seth Mydans, New York Times

“An illuminating picture of what life was like among the enemy guerrillas, especially in the medical community.”
—The VVA Veteran, official publication of Vietnam Veterans of America

"Idealistic young North Vietnamese doctor describes her labors in makeshift clinics and hidden hospitals during the escalation of the Vietnam War.
Tram did not survive the war. On June 22, 1970, an American soldier shot her in the head while she was walking down a jungle pathway dressed in the conventional black pajamas of her compatriots. Judging by her diary, rescued from the flames by another American soldier and first published in Vietnam in 2005, she died with a firm commitment to the Communist Party, the reunion of Vietnam, her profession and her patients, many of whom she saved in surgeries conducted under the most primitive and dangerous conditions imaginable. In one of her first entries, on April 12, 1968, she characterizes herself as having 'the heart of a lonely girl filled with unanswered hopes and dreams.' This longing and yearning—especially for the lover she rarely sees, a man she names only as 'M' — fills these pages and gives them a poignancy that is at times almost unbearable. Early on, Tram records her concerns about being accepted into the Party. She eventually—and gleefully—is, but one of her last entries reveals the results of an evaluation by her political mentors, who say she must battle her 'bourgeois' tendencies. It’s a laughable adjective to apply to a young woman dedicating her life to the communists’ political and military cause. Tram blasts the despised Americans over and over, calling them 'imperialist,' 'invaders,' 'bloodthirsty.' She notes with outrage the devastation wrought by bombs, artillery and defoliation. Describing her efforts to treat a young man burned by a phosphorous bomb, she writes, 'He looks as if he has been roasted in an oven.'
Urgent, simple prose that pierces the heart."
Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

DANG THUY TRAM was a Vietnamese doctor who volunteered at the age of twenty-four to work in a Vietcong battlefield hospital in the Quan Ngai province. In the two years she worked in the hospital before her death in 1970, she recorded all she saw and felt in the pages of her diary.

FRANCES FITZGERALD covered the Vietnam War for The New Yorker. Her resulting book, Fire in the Lake, received the Pulitzer Prize.

ANDREW X. PHAM is the author of the award-winning memoir Catfish and Mandala and The Eaves of Heaven.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Crown; Illustrated edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0307347389
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0307347381
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.18 x 0.58 x 7.95 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
152 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars i did enjoy this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2016
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Anne wglin
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, insightful read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2014
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4.0 out of 5 stars I was in the army and not more than a ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 25, 2015
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Lamda
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 16, 2017
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Peter taylor
3.0 out of 5 stars Poignant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 30, 2019
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