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Black Virgin Mountain

Unabridged   10 hour(s)
Publication date: 04/15/2007

Black Virgin Mountain

A Return to Vietnam

Available from major retailers


An intense, harrowing recounting of Larry Heinemann’s brutal tour of duty in Southeast Asia that tragically and irrevocably altered his life and that of his family, and the long journey of mourning that led him, ultimately, to reconciliation.

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Product Description

The National Book Award-winning author of Paco’s Story returns with a haunting memoir of his year as a combat soldier in Vietnam—and the ghosts he encounters on his return 30 years later.

In 1966 just as the American military buildup in Vietnam was going into overdrive a working-class 22-year-old from Chicago was drafted into the army. Larry Heinemann served one year of combat duty with the 25th Infantry Division most of it in the vicinity of Cu Chi. It was the most horrific and consequential year of his life and it served as the raw material for his two classic war novels Close Quarters and Paco's Story.

The memoir chronicles a 1992 railway journey Heinemann took from Hanoi to HoChi Minh City as the guest of the Vietnam Writers' Association. Along the way he encounters Vietnamese war veterans and views sites that trigger powerful memories. His journey ends with a crawl through the tunnels of Cu Chi and a climb up the sacred mountain that is this book's namesake. A work of mourning and an act of reconciliation Black Virgin Mountain considers the psychic costs of awar that is still taking its toll.

Author Bio

LARRY HEINEMANN is the author of three novels: Close Quarters (1977), one of the earliest novels of the Vietnam War; Paco's Story (1987), winner of the National Book Award and the Carl Sandburg Literary Arts Award; and Cooler by the Lake (1992). He lives in his native city of Chicago, Illinois.