Earth and Water: Encounters in Viet Nam

Paperback / softback
Born in the early 1960s and having no direct experience of the Viet Nam War, Edith Shillue arrived in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in September 1993 from her native Massachusetts to begin work as a university lecturer in English and American history. This book is a lively rendering of her time there and in Nam Ha Province in northern Viet Nam, where she later taught in village schools. Living and working with the Vietnamese, Shillue became acquainted with their language, history, and culture through circumstances that range from comic to heartbreaking. Her memoir provides the reader with sharp observation and thoughtful commentary, whether she is portraying her home life with a Vietnamese family, recounting the joys and frustrations of teaching at both the grade school and university levels, or journeying to the Mekong Delta, Hanoi, or the killing fields of Cambodia.