Inheriting the War

Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees

Laren McClung (Editor, New York University)

With a Foreword by Yusef Komunyakaa


Descendants of Vietnam veterans and refugees confront the aftermath of war and, in verse and prose, deliver another kind of war story.

Fifty years after the Vietnam War, this anthology by descendants of Vietnam veterans and refugees—American, Vietnamese, Vietnamese Diaspora, Hmong, Australian, and others—confronts war and its aftermath. What emerges is an affecting portrait of the effects of war and family—an intercultural, generational dialogue on silence, memory, landscape, imagination, Agent Orange, displacement, postwar trauma, and the severe realities that are carried home. Including such acclaimed voices as Viet Thanh Nguyen, Karen Russell, Terrance Hayes, Suzan-Lori Parks, Nick Flynn, and Ocean Vuong, Inheriting the War enriches the discourse of the Vietnam War and provides a collective conversation that attempts to transcend the recursion of history.

“Each unique work in Inheriting the War embraces a collective that aims to engage through some daring and passionate truths calibrated by bravery.” —Yusef Komunyakaa, from the foreword

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • November 2017
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35428-7
  • 6.2 × 9.2 in / 432 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“A perspective that is essential for all Americans to ingest. Everything in its pages…displays unflinching eloquence. There is no doubt of the importance of Inheriting the War.” — Barbara Berman, The Rumpus

Inheriting the War mines…how we pursue the soul of those we love who are torn by war, and how those wounds weather our own hands and hearts.” — The Millions

“Dense with confrontation, desperation, suffering, this volume also resonates with agency, empathy, even forgiveness.” — Booklist

“[P]oignant…[Inheriting the War] reveals how psychological trauma can have ripple effects through later generations…those wishing to learn more about the Vietnam War, poetry, or transgenerational trauma will also find this an engrossing read.” — Library Journal

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