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Fb2 The Lotus Eaters ePub

by Tatjana Soli

Category: Genre Fiction
Subcategory: Fiction
Author: Tatjana Soli
ISBN: 0007364202
ISBN13: 978-0007364206
Language: English
Publisher: HarperPress (2011)
Pages: 400
Fb2 eBook: 1553 kb
ePub eBook: 1460 kb
Digital formats: mbr lrf docx txt

Author: Tatjana Soli. Tatjana Soli’s haunting debut novel begins where it ought to end. In this quietly mesmerizing book about journalists covering the war in Vietnam, the first glimpses of the place are the most familiar. Americans are in a state of panic as North Vietnamese forces prepare to occupy Saigon.

Those who ate the honeyed fruit of the plant lost any wish to come back and bring us news. we reached the country of the Lotus-eaters, a race that eat the flowery lotus frui. ow these natives had no intention of killing my comrades; what they did was to give them some lotus to taste.

Tatjana Soli spent ten years writing this amazing novel about the Vietnam war and the photojournalists who were obsessed, perhaps even addicted, to the violence and adrenaline of the war. The novel starts in 1975, at the fall of Saigon, and goes backwards to 1965, telling the story of the war and of Helen Adams, Sam Darrow and Linh - the three photographers who worked closely together, side by side.

The Lotus Eaters book. A unique and sweeping debut novel of an American female combat. Tatjana Soli paints a searing portrait of an American woman’s struggle and triumph in Vietnam, a stirring canvas contrasting the wrenching horror of war and the treacherous narcotic of obsession with the redemptive power of love. Readers will be transfixed by this stunning novel of passion, duty and ambition among the ruins of war.

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Other author's books: The Forgetting Tree. The Lotus Eaters: A Novel. The Last Good Paradise: A Novel. Welcome to Literature Tube Archieve The free online library containing 500000+ books. Listen to books in audio format instead of reading.

Tatjana Soli The Lotus Eaters ONE. The Fall TWO. Angkor THREE. A Splendid Little War FOUR. The Ocean of Milk TWENTY. Dong Thanh Author’s Notes General Bibliography Acknowledgments Tatjana Soli. General Bibliography. An Intimate History of Killing. New York: Perseus Books, 1999. Browne, Malcolm W. Muddy Boots and Red Socks: A Reporter’s Life. New York: Random House, 1993.

The Lotus Eaters (2010) is an award-winning novel by Tatjana Soli. It tells the story of an American woman who goes to war-torn Vietnam as a combat photojournalist and finds herself in a love triangle with two men. The novel was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction

tremendously evocative debut, a love story set in the hallucinatory atmosphere of war, described in translucent, fever-dream prose. Janice Y. K. Lee, author of the bestselling THE PIANO TEACHER Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, 2011 As the fall of Saigon begins in 1975, two lovers make their way through the streets, desperately trying to catch one of the last planes out. Helen Adams, a photojournalist, must leave behind a war she has become addicted to and a devastated country she loves.

The ambivalent heroine of Tatjana Soli’s Vietnam War novel, a photojournalist, ponders whether those who represent war .

The ambivalent heroine of Tatjana Soli’s Vietnam War novel, a photojournalist, ponders whether those who represent war merely replicate the violence. And in Tatjana Soli’s splendid first novel, The Lotus Eaters, a group of Western journalists sip liberated Champagne on the roof of the Caravelle Hotel as they reflect on all that has been lost. For Helen, a veteran photographer who made her name covering the war, the resounding absence of planes and artillery has transformed Saigon into an eerie place of nostalgia and history and failure.

'A tremendously evocative debut, a love story set in the hallucinatory atmosphere of war, described in translucent, fever-dream prose.' Janice Y. K. Lee, author of the bestselling 'The Piano Teacher' As the fall of Saigon begins in 1975, two lovers make their way through the streets, desperately trying to catch one of the last planes out. Helen Adams, a photojournalist, must leave behind a war she has become addicted to and a devastated country she loves. Linh, her lover, must grapple with his own conflicting loyalties to the woman from whom he can't bear to be parted, and his country. Betrayal and self-sacrifice follows, echoing the pattern of their relationship over the war-torn years, beginning in the splendour of Angkor Wat, with jaded, cynical, larger-than-life war correspondent Sam Darrow, Helen's greatest love and fiercest competitor, driven by demons she can only hope to vanquish. Spurred on by the need to get the truth of the war out to an international audience, and the immense personal cost this carries, Sam and Helen's passionate and all-consuming love is tested to the limit. This mesmerising novel carries resonance across contemporary wars with questions of love and heart-breaking betrayal interwoven with the conflict.
Comments to eBook The Lotus Eaters
Grosho
"He was like one of Homer's lotus eaters. He simply forgot all thoughts of return."

The novel opens as the US troops are pulling out of Vietnam in 1975, and photojournalist Helen Adams is walking the streets of Saigon, feeling familiar and close to the city. She's been here over a decade, and is conflicted about leaving this now refugee town to go back to the states.

She walks to the apartment she shares with her lover and also photographer, Linh, a Vietnamese who has been injured. She is anxious to get him on the helicopter out of there, with the intention of joining him after she goes on one final shoot. However, she is eternally compelled by that one great shot, the photo that will secure her name in the history of war photographers. Her mentor and previous lover, Sam Darrow, had already done that, but, like Helen, was hooked to the place, the job, the dynamic of war photography.

Following the memorable scene after the Fall of Saigon, one that is canonized in the iconic image of South Vietnamese civilians desperately trying to secure a seat on one of the last American helicopters shuttling between Saigon rooftops and US navy ships off the coast of Vietnam (ahead of the arrival of the communist North-Vietnamese troops), the story starts at the beginning of Helen's life here, back in 1965. We follow her from the her complete innocence as a new photographer and survivor in a war-torn country; through the grisly action of capturing combat scenes on film; and in the inflamed and tender scenes of romance.

If I ever were to recommend one novel on the Vietnam War, this would be it. Unless you only want battle action and an all male cast--such as Matterhorn--I endorse this book as a poised and exquisite balance between love and war, and a love for the adrenaline-fueled action of war. As photographers, Helen, Sam, and Linh strive for the pictures that, in their individual quests, are a sort of anti-war document, an up close and personal edification of the fallout and consequences of what the US called a "skirmish." The inner conflicts of getting that award-winning shot subsumes the guilt and shame of potential exploitation and the desire to keep on following the next knell or knoll of death. What of their photography? Are they interpreters of violence? Are they, as Sam Darrow feared, making war "palatable"?

As Helen thought, "No getting around the ghoulishness of pouncing on tragedy with hungry eyes, snatching it away, glorying in its taking even among the most sympathetic `I got an incredible shot of a dead soldier/woman/child. A real tearjerker.' Afterward, film shot, they sat on the returning plane with a kind of postcoital shame, turning away from each other."

As a personal story, Soli beautifully braided, twisted, and integrated the photojournalists' addiction to war and their desperate kinds of love or lust, the difficult choices and bonds that form, bonds that may never work anywhere else but in the midst of battle scarred endurance. This is one of my favorite contemporary novels of all time. By the end of this visceral, emotionally electrifying novel, I forgot all thoughts of return to the real world. I wanted to stay with these characters. I was a lotus eater.
Bliss
Tatjana Soli spent ten years writing this amazing novel about the Vietnam war and the photojournalists who were obsessed, perhaps even addicted, to the violence and adrenaline of the war. The novel starts in 1975, at the fall of Saigon, and goes backwards to 1965, telling the story of the war and of Helen Adams, Sam Darrow and Linh - the three photographers who worked closely together, side by side. By 1975, Helen had spent ten years in Vietnam and was reluctant to go home to the United States. "The country deep inside her idea of who she was; she would tear out a part of herself in leaving it." She came to Vietnam initially to photograph the country and to find out how her brother Michael had been killed in the line of duty. Yet, once Saigon has fallen, Helen does not leave. She wants to be the last one standing, the last photographer to take pictures of the fallen city.

The story is both a war story and a love story. Helen loves first Sam Darrow and then, after his death, Linh, Darrow's assistant, a Vietnamese photographer with a shadowy past. As the novel progresses we see how Darrow and then Helen get so caught up in the war that they find it an obsession. It leaves scars on both of them. "The curse of photojournalism in a war was that a good picture necessitated the subject getting hurt or killed". How much can one witness without getting post-traumatic stress disorder or becoming immune to pain and suffering? The reader watches as Helen definitely suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder but continues on her mission to photograph every battle she can. As Darrow said, "Like an addict who had to keep upping the dose to maintain the same high, he found himself risking more and working harder for less return. . . .A steady loss of impact until violence became meaningless?"

It is interesting that "the Americans called it 'the Vietnam war', and the Vietnamese called it 'the American war' to differentiate it from 'the French war' that had come before it, although they referred to both wars as 'the Wars of Independence'. The novel is very educational in that the reader learns about the North Vietnamese, the South Vietnamese, Cambodia and the United States and what drives them all to engage in this fruitless and horrendous war.

Helen evolves from a naive young woman to a seasoned photojournalist who is marginally accepted by the men but has access to all their resources. She gets her pictures on the cover of Life magazine and she is known as the first woman combat photographer of the war. Once Saigon falls to the north, she puts the injured Linh on a helicopter and returns to the city to see the war to its end. "The end had arrived with a sputter, and although she had prayed for an end to the evils of war, now that it had arrived she couldn't deny being strangely brokenhearted. Like a snake swallowing its own tail, war created an appetite that could be fed only on more war." 'At first the war is exciting, then it's proficiency and endurance' along with "a camaraderie in war, an urgency of connection impossible to duplicate in regular life. She felt more human when life was on the edge."

The other side of the war is the tenderness and poignancy that death and suffering bring. "The dead enter the living, burrowed through the skin, floated through the blood, to come at last to rest in the heart." However, like the lotus eaters in Homer's Odyssey, once anyone tastes the fruit of the plant, they lose any wish to go home. The war is the metaphor for the lotus fruit, a fruit that keeps one in place, forgetting all thoughts of home.

While I enjoyed this book, Helen never seemed particularly real to me. I couldn't see how a college dropout would just jump on a plane to Vietnam and know how to become a photojournalist. It seemed too much of a stretch. Darrow, I could understand, as well as Linh. The truth of it, however, is that I didn't connect deeply to any of the characters. Having been a teenager and young adult during the war, I saw many of my friends go to Vietnam. Some came back and some didn't. I was emotionally burnt out by this novel, given my background and having heard so much about the war previously. I felt like I was drowning at times. While this is an excellent book in many ways, I found it to be more a book about war than about people. The descriptions of the different battles were too intense and too descriptive for my taste.
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