SUCH A LOVELY LITTLE WAR: Saigon 1961-1963By Marcelino Truong
his riveting, beautifully produced graphic memoir tells the story of the early years of the Vietnam war as seen through the eyes of a young boy named Marco, the son of a Vietnamese diplomat and his French wife. The book opens in America, where the boy's father works for the South Vietnam embassy; there the boy is made to feel self-conscious about his otherness thanks to schoolmates who play war games against the so-called "Commies." The family is called back to Saigon in 1961, where the father becomes Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem's personal interpreter; as the growing conflict between North and South intensifies, so does turmoil within Marco's family, as his mother struggles to grapple with bipolar disorder. Visually powerful and emotionally potent, Such a Lovely Little War is both a large-scale and intimate study of the Vietnam war as seen through the eyes of the Vietnamese: a turbulent national history interwined with an equally traumatic familial one.