By Lựu Lê
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The appointment of Tinh as a district official and the service of Ha as Village Party Secretary in 1954 and later as District Party Secretary further testify to the eminence of Sai's family (the title "Secretary" designates the presiding officer at many echelons). A Political Balance Sheet The Viet Minh revolution impinges on the people of Ha Vi in various, contradictory ways. It brings benefits (see the cheerful description of the village in 1964) but does not empower. The cooperative movement is presented to the population as a diktat outlawing the selling of labor power.
Le Luu, however, faced official questioning in 1986, forced to answer publicly the questions of critics who accused him of harboring a "dark aim" within this Page xxi novel, which was the first to question official policy during the war. Le Luu faced hostility and criticism from his colleagues and some of his veteran and writer peers. But he was fortunate on two accounts. The timing of the novel's publication coincided exactly with the Sixth Party Congress and the announcement of the new policy of Doi Moi, or Renovation; and, perhaps just as important, readers in the North openly embraced both the book and its author.
His usually phlegmatic aunts had also urged their children to go out searching for Sai. An entire corner of the village had been upset, because Tinh had acted hastily. This little incident had disclosed Tinh's inexperience and allowed Uncle Ha to chastise him. After Ha's reprimand, Tinh trudged home. Once there, he quietly slipped inside and sat down on the divan. After a long while, he looked up. " he yelled in the direction of the kitchen. "I just can't believe it. " He yelled to his wife, but when he finished speaking, a spark of light flared up on the other side of the divan.
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