The Vietnamese Gulag
|Author||Doan Van Toai, as told to Michel Voirol|
|Publisher||Paris : R. Laffont|
|Author||Doan Van Toai, David Chanoff|
|Original title||Le Goulag Vietnamien|
|Translator||Sylvie Romanowski and Françoise Simon-Miller.|
|Country||tr. from France|
|Language||tr. from French|
|Publisher||New York : Simon and Schuster|
|tr. from 1979|
Published in English
The Vietnamese Gulag is the autobiography of the Vietnamese pro-democracy activist Doan Van Toai. The book focuses specifically on his arrest and imprisonment by the Communist Vietnamese government, events which precipitated a change in his political belief from luke-warm communist to advocate of democracy.
Writing in the New York Times, Robert Shaplan said that the book "is reminiscent, at its best, of E. E. Cummings's Enormous Room and Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon." Shaplan also notes that the book's "value derives from [the author] having been one of the first Vietnamese to write effectively of his experience, and to describe what he calls 'the method of the betrayal' of his revolutionary hopes and ideals." John P Roche, who reviewed the book for the Los Angeles Times, called the narrative "moving" and "written with a striking lack of self-pity".
The Vietnamese Gulag was originally written in French (Le Goulag Vietnamien) and published in 1979. A German translation followed in 1980. The English translation was published in 1986 and generally met with critical approval.
- Robert Shaplan (July 13, 1986). "Rethinking the Revolution". New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2011.
- John P Roche (June 1, 1986). "The Vietnamese Gulag by Doan Van Toai and David Chanoff (Simon & Schuster: $18.95; 312 pp., illustrated)". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2011.
- Le Goulag Vietnamien OCLC 476545048
- Der Vietnamesische Gulag OCLC 14405683