Saturday, November 12, 2016

Book: Last Night I Dreamed of Peace by Dang Thuy Tram

Last Night I Dreamed of Peace is the title given to the published war-time diaries of the young Vietcong doctor Dang Thuy Tram. The diary is endearing and exhausting, and importantly serves to humanise the enemy. It reminds us that for the most part we are all the same, sharing common hopes and fears and striving for a better world.


To live is to face the storms and not to cower before them.

Don't water this soil with tears of pity.

A thick blanket of silence.

5th April 1969
If you knew how much I yearned for you, you would be here today, sitting next to me, holding my hand in silence. Without a word, you would understand everything we want to say to each other.
Rain is pouring down. I am cold and so sad - do you know this, my dear young brother?

Always keep a smile on your lips, despite a thousand perils.

We want to encourage one another, but there are moments when our worries become clear and undeniable, and the shadow of pessimism creeps upon us.

Life is reduced to the minimum.
A horde of dangers looms over me.

My letters never tell my dear ones of all my hardships. Why make them worry even more than they are doing now? Thuan, my young brother, has brushed against death so many times. Suffering has imprinted his face deeply, the wrinkles making him look older than his years.

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