Black Virgin Mountain A Return to Vietnam

ISBN-10: 1400076897

ISBN-13: 9781400076895

Edition: N/A

Authors: Larry Heinemann

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From the author of the classic National Book Award–winning novel Paco's Story, an equally classic and haunting memoir of the Vietnam War. In 1966 Larry Heinemann, a working-class twenty-two-year-old from Chicago, was drafted into the Army just as the American military buildup in Vietnam was going into overdrive.  He served one year of combat duty with the 25th Infantry Division, from March 1967 to March 1968, most of it in the vicinity of Cu Chi (of tunnels fame).  It was the most horrific and consequential year of his life and served as the raw material for his two subsequent classic war novels, Close Quarters and Paco's Story.  The war also devastated his family. Both of his brothers served in the military, and one of them killed himself, while the other has been missing for many years.  Truly, the Vietnam War altered Heinemann's life utterly and forever.  Black Virgin Mountain is structured along a railway journey Larry Heinemann took in 1992 from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City as the guest of the Vietnam Writers Association and ends with a crawl through the Tunnels of Cu Chi and a climb up the sacred mountain that provides the title's namesake.  From there, he can view the entire compass of his combat experience in-country (including the horrific battle in which Oliver Stone also fought and used as the bloody climax of Platoon).  Along the way, the author encounters Vietnamese veterans of the war and views sites that trigger powerful memories. This memoir is an unforgettable threnody and a moving act of reconciliation.
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Book details

List price: $13.95
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 6/6/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 4.75" wide x 7.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

Born and raised in Chicago, Larry Heinemann is the author of three novels and numerous short stories and essays. In his novels Close Quarters and Paco's Story, which won the National Book Award for fiction in 1986, Heinemann used his experience as an infantryman with the 25th Division of the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War to relate the horrors of war. The novel Cooler by the Lake, written in 1992, was Heinemann's first attempt at writing a book with a theme other than war. Heinemann's short stories and essays have appeared in a multitude of journals and magazines, among them Harper's, Playboy, Atlantic Monthly, Entertainment Weekly, Tri-Quarterly, and the Vietnam Writers Association Journal of Arts and Letters. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council. Lecturing and teaching at universities, writer's workshops, and veteran's groups in the United States, Vietnam, England, China, and the Soviet Union have kept Heinemann quite busy, although he still considers himself a "househusband."

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