Don't Mean Nothing by Susan Kramer O'Neill
Short Stories of Vietnam

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In this debut fiction collection--the first by a nurse who served in Viet Nam--Susan O'Neill offers a glimpse into the war from a female perspective. These stories are about women, and men, who served in three combat hospitals in 1969 and 1970. They are interconnected, peopled by one-time "stars" and recurring characters, and they deal both with both the minutia of everyday life in wartime, and grander, more over-reaching themes--love and loss, faith and despair, morality, futility, military idiosyncrasy, magic, and the cost to the soul of a year in war's very particular hell. The stories are purely fictional, yet based loosely on the author's experiences, and they are laced as liberally with black humor as with pathos. 

About Susan Kramer O'Neill

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Published March 1, 2001 by Serving House Books. 256 pages
Genres: War, Literature & Fiction, History, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

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In “Monkey on Our Backs,” a nurse puts out a contract on a small primate that almost stands for all that is ancient and sacred about Vietnam (the actual Vietnamese characters are little more than cliché furniture), and while the story threatens to become allegory, O’Neill cuts it off before it co...

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Publishers Weekly

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O'Neill presents a portrait gallery of nurses, soldiers, and natives, grouped into three sections reflecting the three hospitals where she worked.

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