I just finished reading Dana Sach‘s 2000 memoir “The House on Dream Street.” The book looks at Dana’s experience in Vietnam as an American in the early 1990s. While Dana was just a child during the Vietnam War, her curiosity about the people we once called enemies draws her to Vietnam and she spends much time in the book reflecting on the war’s legacies. During her year in Hanoi, she meets many individuals who were affected by the war — North Vietnamese veterans who lost limbs during battle, families whose homes were bombed during American air raids, and even a man who claims to have rescued John McCain after his plane crashed in a Hanoi lake.
Like so many veterans who return to Vietnam, Dana is constantly surprised by how Vietnamese people treat her as an American. Where she expects hate, she finds sympathy and respect. Where she expects conflict, she finds humor and good will.
In the following excerpt, Dana recalls a night out with two Vietnamese friends in Hanoi and how her understanding of Vietnam and the war changed during the time she lived there:
For those of you interested in reading more on Vietnam from Dana Sachs, she’s also published a volume of Vietnamese folktales and a nonfiction book about Operation Babylift and international adoption in Vietnam.