Subarno Chattarji deposited “Writing about War”: Dương Thu Hương’s Representations of the Vietnam-American War in the group TC Memory Studies on MLA Commons 2 months, 3 weeks ago
While 30 April 1975 represented the end of hostilities between North and South Vietnam, it was not the end of internecine conflicts. The victorious communists treated Southerners with contempt and subjected them to humiliation and violence, including incarceration in so-called re-education camps. Dương Thu Hương served in the Women’s Youth Brigade during the war and hoped that victory would lead to the establishment of a more egalitarian and democratic society. Dương was appalled when the communist party clamped down on all freedoms and she expressed her dissent in public and through her fiction. This essay analyses two of her novels in English translation, Novel Without a Name (1995) and Memories of a Pure Spring (2000), focusing on recurrent thematics that are central to these works, including the paradoxes of remembrance, critiques of war, the idea of fiction as testimony, and indictments of communist orthodoxy and double standards.