Sacred Willow
Edward Miller, Associate Professor of History

In the wake of the broadcast of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s mini-series The Vietnam War earlier this fall, I have been asked many times for recommendations for books about the war.  Mai Elliott’s beautifully written family memoir is one of my favorites.  The daughter of a Vietnamese mandarin, Elliott was born in northern Vietnam but moved to Saigon in the 1950s and spent much of the war there.  Like countless other Vietnamese families, hers was divided by the war, with members often serving on opposite sides of the conflict.  Elliott weaves the moving (and often harrowing) personal stories of her relatives together in novelistic fashion.  Elliott was interviewed by Burns and Novick and appears in multiple episodes of The Vietnam War, so those who were intrigued by her on-screen testimony should not miss this memoir.