Literature makes enemies friends: forum

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Báo Tuổi Trẻ English - 27 month(s) ago 14 readings

Literature makes enemies friends: forum

For 20 years, Vietnamese and American writers and poets have helped to restore normal relations between Vietnam and the US, a forum has heard.

Literature

The William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences (WJC), an American NGO, plays a particularly important role in this effort, local writer To Nhuan Vy told the forum held in Hue city between WJC and Vietnamese writers.

“WJC is like a boat, breaking the ‘ice’ in the two countries’ relations,”
Vy said.

WJC was founded by American veterans to research about the Vietnam War’s consequences. The organization has overcome great difficulties, and members have even risked their lives in their efforts to urge the US to normalize relations with Vietnam.

“Founding WJC was a hard and valiant decision,” said Vietnamese poet Huu Thinh, chairman of the Vietnam Writers Association.

To Nhuan Vy said WJC’s efforts hadn’t just helped to strengthen relations between the US and Vietnam, but only heal “the broken relationship between Vietnamese soldiers of the two sides.”

For his part, poet Nguyen Quang Thieu said he was amazed by the endless love of WJC writers and veterans toward the Vietnamese people and land.

“They love Vietnam patiently,” Thieu said. “They urged the US Congress to assist Vietnam and were either considered prolonged hands of communists or CIA spy.”

Writer Kevin Bowen, former director of WJC, said WJC was all about sharing and understanding.

“For veterans, they wish to share and gather memories that once separated us. For writers, they wish to acquire knowledge of different cultures and literature,” he said.

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