When Heaven and Earth Changed Places

A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace

400 pages

English language

Published Nov. 1, 1993 by Plume.

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3 stars (4 reviews)

It is said that in war heaven and earth change places not once, but many times. When Heaven and Earth Changed Places is the haunting memoir of a girl on the verge of womanhood in a world turned upside down. The youngest of six children in a close-knit Buddhist family, Le Ly Hayslip was twelve years old when U.S. helicopters langed in Ky La, her tiny village in central Vietnam. As the government and Viet Cong troops fought in and around Ky La, both sides recruited children as spies and saboteurs. Le Ly was one of those children. Before the age of sixteen, Le Ly had suffered near-starvation, imprisonment, torture, rape, and the deaths of beloved family members—but miraculously held fast to her faith in humanity. And almost twenty years after her escape to Ameica, she was drawn inexorably back to the devastated country and family she left behind. Scenes …

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  • Hayslip, Le Ly
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal narratives, Vietnamese
  • Refugees -- Vietnam -- Biography
  • Refugees -- United States -- Biography
  • Vietnam -- Description and travel