Nhũ’ng Cô Gái Quán Bar Sài Gòn, 1975 (A translation of Yusef Komunyakaa, "Saigon Bar Girls, 1975)



Serving his country as a correspondent and managing editor of the Southern Cross during the Vietnam War, winning a Bronze Star, Yusef Komunyakaa draws upon his experiences for works such as the collection, Dien Cai Dau (1988), which won the Dark Room Poetry Prize. Beaucoup dien cai dau is a Vietnamese-French term regarding how the Vietnamese people during the war saw American soldiers, translating to "crazy in the head." The collection is presented through the lens of personal experience, especially centering the positionality of Black soldiers and the landscape of Vietnam. Despite the countless awards to compliment an immense oeuvre, "Saigon Bar Girls, 1975" from the aforementioned collection stands out as a poignant, slice-of-life snapshot of postwar life in Vietnam through the eyes of Vietnamese prostitutes, which exists as a powerful mode of bringing Vietnamese subjectivity to the fore of how the war is remembered in the global consciousness.


translationVietnamese literaturetraumaVietnam Warwar memories
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 13-15
  • DOI: 10.18573/alt.48
  • Published on 16 Dec 2020
  • Peer Reviewed