Inverting The American War Story

Carolyn Kellogg at the LA Times:

For those who don’t know about America’s involvement in Laos, which at the time U.S. officials called the “Secret War,” author Paul Yoon provides a thumbnail sketch at the beginning of the book. From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped more bombs on Laos than were used against Germany and Japan combined during WWII.

When they are forced to leave, Noi, Prany and Alisak are split up. One of them gets on a series of planes to France; one is imprisoned in Laos with their doctor friend; the last disappears.

The novel then tracks their diaspora. It seems that luck is with the one who makes it to France, able to make a new life halfway around the world. But is fate playing tricks?

more here.