Last Night I Dreamed of Peace
During the bloodiest days of the Vietnam War, Dang Thuy Tram, a young woman in her 20s, left her comfortable home in Hanoi to work as a doctor at a field hospital in the thick of the fierce guerrilla fighting. There she tended civilians and combatants and, for solace, turned to the diary in which she wrote about her compassion for her patients, about comrades killed and captured, about her passion for a man she refers to as M., and about her dreams of a better world. Rescued from the fire into which, at the war's end, American soldiers were throwing documents and papers—"Don't burn this one," said a Vietnamese translator, "it has fire in it already"—this remarkable volume was recently published in Vietnam , where it became a best-seller. Now available here in an eloquent translation by Andrew X. Pham, Last Night I Dreamed of Peace (Harmony) seems like a gift from a heroine who was killed at 27 but whose voice has survived to remind us of the humanity and decency that endure amid—and despite—the horror and chaos of war.
— Francine Prose