A novel that transcends the limitations of “war fiction,” Tom Glenn’s Last of the Annamese is a book that examines the choices forced upon those who fight wars, those who flee them, and those who survive them. The rare novel that eloquently describes the burden of loss, Last of the Annamese evokes a haunting portrait of the lives of those trapped in Saigon in April 1975 as the city, and surrounding country, fell to North Vietnamese forces. Drawing on his own experiences in the war, Tom Glenn tells the tale of Chuck Griffin, a retired Marine doing intelligence work for the United States in Vietnam; his friend, Thanh, an incorruptible South Vietnamese Marine colonel; and Tuyet, the regal woman whom both men love. As the grim fate of South Vietnam becomes more apparent, and the flight from Saigon begins, Tuyet must make a somber choice to determine the fate of her son Thu, herself, and those she loves. During the fall of Saigon as the North Vietnamese overwhelm the South, Tom Glenn paints a vivid portrait of the high drama surrounding the end of a war, end of a city, and end of a people. Reaching its harrowing conclusion during the real Operation Frequent Wind, a refugee rescue effort approved by President Gerald Ford, Last of the Annamese offers a glimpse at a handful of people caught in an epic conflagration that was one of modern history’s darkest chapters.
Tom Glenn’s prize-winning seventeen short stories and four novels draw upon the thirteen years he shuttled between the United States and Vietnam on covert intelligence assignments before escaping under fire when Saigon fell. Comfortable in Vietnamese, Chinese, and French, he writes and speaks frequently on war and Vietnam. He lives in Ellicott City, Maryland.
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