“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 When Heaven and Earth Changed Places
It is said that in war heaven and earth change places not once, but many times. When Heaven and Earth Changed Places is the haunting memoir of a girl on the verge of womanhood in a world turned upside down. The youngest of six children in a close-knit Buddhist family, Le Ly Hayslip was twelve years old when U.S. helicopters langed in Ky La, her tiny village in central Vietnam. As the government and Viet Cong troops fought in and around Ky La, both sides recruited children as spies and saboteurs. Le Ly was one of those children.
Before the age of sixteen, Le Ly had suffered near-starvation, imprisonment, torture, rape, and the deaths of beloved family members—but miraculously held fast to her faith in humanity. And almost twenty years after her escape to Ameica, she was drawn inexorably back to the devastated country and family she left behind. Scenes of this joyous reunion are interwoven with the brutal war years, offering a poignant picture of vietnam, then and now, and of a courageous woman who experienced the true horror of the Vietnam War—and survived to tell her unforgettable story.
Le Ly Hayslip was born in Vietnam in 1950. She is the author of two memoirs—When Heaven and Earth Changed… More about Le Ly Hayslip
About Jay Wurts
Jay Wurts, an Air Guard pilot during the Vietnam War, has written and edited a variety of books.www.jaywurts.com
About Le Ly Hayslip
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 & Earth, written and directed by… More about Le Ly Hayslip