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The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars
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Average Rating
Published:
Crown 2008
Lexile measure:
920L
Status:
Checked Out
Description
From Andrew X. Pham, the award-winning author of Catfish and Mandala, a son’s searing memoir of his Vietnamese father’s experiences over the course of three wars.
The Philadelphia Inquirer hailed Andrew Pham’s debut, Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam, for evoking “the full sadness of the human condition . . . marveling at spiritual resilience amid irreconcilable facts.” The New York Times Book Review called it, simply, “remarkable.” Now, in The Eaves of Heaven, Pham gives voice to his father’s unique experience in an unforgettable story of war and remembrance.
Once wealthy landowners, Thong Van Pham’s family was shattered by the tumultuous events of the twentieth century: the festering French occupation of Indochina, the Japanese invasion during World War II, and the Vietnam War.
Told in dazzling chapters that alternate between events in the past and those closer to the present, The Eaves of Heaven brilliantly re-creates the trials of everyday life in Vietnam as endured by one man, from the fall of Hanoi and the collapse of French colonialism to the frenzied evacuation of Saigon. Pham offers a rare portal into a lost world as he chronicles Thong Van Pham’s heartbreaks, triumphs, and bizarre reversals of fortune, whether as a South Vietnamese soldier pinned down by enemy fire, a prisoner of the North Vietnamese under brutal interrogation, or a refugee desperately trying to escape Vietnam after the last American helicopter has abandoned Saigon. This is the story of a man caught in the maelstrom of twentieth-century politics, a gripping memoir told with the urgency of a wartime dispatch by a writer of surpassing talent.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/03/2008
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307409348
ASIN:
B001AL663S
Lexile measure:
920
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Andrew X. Pham. (2008). The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Andrew X. Pham. 2008. The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Andrew X. Pham, The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars. Crown, 2008.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Andrew X. Pham. The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars. Crown, 2008. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:25:12
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:47:01
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creators
      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Pham, Andrew X.
      • bioText: ANDREW X. PHAM is the author of the memoir Catfish and Mandala (winner of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Award) and the translator of Last Night I Dreamed of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram, published by Harmony in September 2007. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award and lives in Hawaii.
        www.AndrewXPham.com
      • name: Andrew X. Pham
imprint
Broadway Books
publishDate
2008-06-03T00:00:00-04:00
isOwnedByCollections
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title
The Eaves of Heaven
fullDescription
From Andrew X. Pham, the award-winning author of Catfish and Mandala, a son’s searing memoir of his Vietnamese father’s experiences over the course of three wars.
The Philadelphia Inquirer hailed Andrew Pham’s debut, Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam, for evoking “the full sadness of the human condition . . . marveling at spiritual resilience amid irreconcilable facts.” The New York Times Book Review called it, simply, “remarkable.” Now, in The Eaves of Heaven, Pham gives voice to his father’s unique experience in an unforgettable story of war and remembrance.
Once wealthy landowners, Thong Van Pham’s family was shattered by the tumultuous events of the twentieth century: the festering French occupation of Indochina, the Japanese invasion during World War II, and the Vietnam War.
Told in dazzling chapters that alternate between events in the past and those closer to the present, The Eaves of Heaven brilliantly re-creates the trials of everyday life in Vietnam as endured by one man, from the fall of Hanoi and the collapse of French colonialism to the frenzied evacuation of Saigon. Pham offers a rare portal into a lost world as he chronicles Thong Van Pham’s heartbreaks, triumphs, and bizarre reversals of fortune, whether as a South Vietnamese soldier pinned down by enemy fire, a prisoner of the North Vietnamese under brutal interrogation, or a refugee desperately trying to escape Vietnam after the last American helicopter has abandoned Saigon. This is the story of a man caught in the maelstrom of twentieth-century politics, a gripping memoir told with the urgency of a wartime dispatch by a writer of surpassing talent.
gradeLevels
      • value: Grade 4
      • value: Grade 5
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The Boston Globe
      • content:
        "The 'I' of the first-person narration, belonging not the author but to his father; the Edenic lushness of Thong's childhood memories, intermingled with the wrenching dramas to come: These are the devices of sophisticated fiction, drawing us in while keeping us precariously off balance."
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Post Book World
      • content: " . . . [A] gorgeously written book . . . [Pham] seems to have risen to a new level of quiet and powerful storytelling. . . . The Eaves of Heaven is built from a series of short vignettes -- some sweet, some horrifying -- which are not recounted in chronological sequence, but linked in a narrative that darts nimbly across time, lingering on haunting scenes of brutality and violence as well as of beauty and love. . . . It's the absence of chronology that gives Thong's story its magic and depth, and allows it to be sustained by his observations of the ephemeral and the descriptions of unforgettable characters."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal, starred review
      • content: "Pham deftly paints a compelling portrait of life during three wars in Vietnam . . . This beautifully written books is essential for public and academic libraries."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews, starred review
      • content: "War-torn as it was, a lost world lives again in Thong's recollections of the passions of his life: food, friends, family, romance. Personal tragedy and triumph, related with amazing perspective against an epic backdrop."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist, starred review
      • content: "World-shaping events that most Americans know merely through schematic maps and historical summaries take on a poignantly human immediacy in this story of one storm-buffeted man: Thong Van Pham, the author's father. . . . By turns touching and searing, this slice of history--like Pham's earlier Catfish and Mandala (1999)--deserves a wide readership."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly, starred review
      • content: "Alternating between his father's distant past and more recent events, the narrative takes readers on a haunting trip through time and space. This technique lends a soothing, dreamlike quality. . . Pham does an admirable job of recounting the complex cast of characters and the political machinations of the various groups vying for power over the years. In the end, he also gracefully delivers a heartfelt family history."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from March 17, 2008
        In a narrative set between the years of 1940 and 1976, Pham (Catfish and Mandala
        ) recounts the story of his once wealthy father, Thong Van Pham, who lived through the French occupation of Indochina, the Japanese invasion during WWII, and the Vietnam War. Alternating between his father’s distant past and more recent events, the narrative take readers on a haunting trip through time and space. This technique lends a soothing, dreamlike quality to a story of upheaval, war, famine and the brutality his father underwent following a childhood of privilege (“And that strange year, the last of the good years, all things were granted. Heaven laid the seal of prosperity upon our land. We were blessed with the most bountiful harvest in memory”). For those not familiar with Vietnamese history, Pham does an admirable job of recounting the complex cast of characters and the political machinations of the various groups vying for power over the years. In the end, he also gracefully delivers a heartfelt family history.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from July 15, 2008
        Pham, author of the highly acclaimed memoir "Catfish and Mandala", returns with a memoir of his father's life in Vietnam from the father's youth under French colonialism through his release from a Vietcong reeducation camp in 1976. Pham alternates between past events and those closer to the present, re-creating the ebb and flow of life's hopes and realities as the boy became a man. Born into wealth and privilege, Pham's father, Thong von Pham, would later lament as a draftee in the South Vietnamese Army that "hubris brought me down a difficult path when wisdom would have led me toward comfort and wealth." Counseled by his mother "don't be quick to kill or be killed for someone else's rhetoric," Thong witnessed wanton cruelty by competing perpetrators. As a child, he watched the horrific murder of a villager by a French Foreign Legionnaire from Algeria, which left him dreaming of joining the resistance against France. He would soon hear the lurid details of the execution of his beloved teacher, accused of being a French informant. Pham deftly paints a compelling portrait of life during three wars in Vietnam (World War II, the Indochina Wars, and the Vietnam War), of his father's inner conflict, and of the difficult choices faced by a people living in fear. This beautifully written book is essential for public and academic libraries.Patti McCall, Albany Medical Research Inst., NY

        Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from March 15, 2008
        World-shaping events that most Americans know merely through schematic maps and historical summaries take on a poignantly human immediacy in this story of one storm-buffeted man: Thong Van Pham, the authors father. Readers join the young Thong in craving even a few grains of rice during the Great Famine, caused by the Japanese occupation of Vietnam during World War II. We watch as the adolescent Thong grieves the death of a classmates father, brutally slaughtered by the French legionnaires who supplant the defeated Japanese. Andwe hearbullets whistling past the ears of the adult Thong when his South Vietnamese unit is besieged by Vietcong guerrillas. By juxtaposing episodes from different epochs in Thongs life, the intercalary structure of the narrative reminds readers of how the distant past casts long shadows on the future. When Thong finally surrenders to ruthless Communist captors, readers see up close the high personal cost of politicians geopolitical calculations. Indeed, this gripping narrative confronts American readers with the tragic consequences of their own countrys complicity in that calculus, dispelling illusions about both Americas myopic strategies and the Vietcongs bloody tactics. By turns touching and searing, this slice of historylike Phams earlier Catfish and Mandala (1999)deserves a wide readership.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
From Andrew X. Pham, the award-winning author of Catfish and Mandala, a son’s searing memoir of his Vietnamese father’s experiences over the course of three wars.
The Philadelphia Inquirer hailed Andrew Pham’s debut, Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam, for evoking “the full sadness of the human condition . . . marveling at spiritual resilience amid irreconcilable facts.” The New York Times Book Review called it, simply, “remarkable.” Now, in The Eaves of Heaven, Pham gives voice to his father’s unique experience in an unforgettable story of war and remembrance.
Once wealthy landowners, Thong Van Pham’s family was shattered by the tumultuous events of the twentieth century: the festering French occupation of Indochina, the Japanese invasion during World War II, and the Vietnam War.
Told in dazzling chapters that alternate between...
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Eaves of Heaven A Life in Three Wars
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A Life in Three Wars
publisher
Crown