I spent last Saturday at the Gaithersburg Book Festival hawking my books.
The aura of Vietnam was palpable. The table next to mine was manned by Richard Morris, another Vietnam writer. As I wandered around the festival area, with its many pavilions set aside for speakers and authors reading their work, I heard the word “Vietnam” mouthed by those talking to audiences. Several times I overheard snatches of conversation from passersby. “Vietnam” was audible in their speech.
And I sold a respectable number of books to readers who professed an interest in the Vietnam war. I even sold books to a Vietnamese lady who was charmed by my speaking to her in native language.
I suspect that the uptick in my book sales, not only at the festival but at other places, is the result of a growing interest in the country and the war. I hope so. We could have learned so much from the ending of the Vietnam war, but we didn’t. We repeated the same mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe we’re ready to learn from our past errors.