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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Duc: A reporter's love for the wounded people of Vietnam

Uwe Siemon-Netto, a friend of mine for many years, who is married to one of my dearest friends, Gillian, was a war correspondent most of his working life as a journalist. Last year he started to write a memoir about his years covering the Vietnam War. Every week or so, he sent me a chapter, and he had me hooked until I'd read the last one. I highly recommend this extraordinary bit of storytelling at its best. Here is the review I wrote.

"Uwe Siemon-Netto's memoir about his years as a war correspondent in Vietnam is one of the most touching and moving books I have read in a very long time. It is also hilarious. This renowned journalist, a longtime war correspondent for various German newspapers, made me both sad and happy. I did cry at times, but I also laughed. He took me on a splendid journey from Saigon to Hue and back again, always captivating me with his memorable talent and his unique way with engaging words and phrases. I couldn't get enough of his anecdotes about his little friends, a group of street urchins. They slept in his ramshackle car at night, protesting they were doing him a favor by guarding it. his vivid writing brings alive all kinds of unusual cosmopolitan "characters" he met, as well as the innocent victime and brave survivors of this war, in particular the everyday people of Vietnam. His genuine sympathy for the Vietnamese, and his understanding of the war that engulfed them helped to make this a powerful read."

-- Barbara Taylor Bradford

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