VIETNAM JOURNAL (1995)
Vietnam conjures an array of images for most Americans of my generation. Even though I never went there to fight, being of draft age I was deeply affected by the war. For years it was a place for me to avoid at all costs, and now I find myself touching down in Saigon. On the flight over I sit next to a group of Vietnamese Americans returning home for the first time in over ten years. Their apprehension is greater than mine. Clearly they have a lot more at stake. We are all nervous. My fear is compounded by having read Le Ly Hayslip's chilling memoir When Heaven & Earth Changed Places in which she writes of her family's experiences during the war and her return to Vietnam 20 years later.