Former Vietnamese child-spy who works for a peaceful Vietnam to tell her experiences
(April 11, 2005) GENEVA, N.Y.–The youngest of six children in a close-knit Buddhist family, Le Ly Hayslip was 12 years old when the U.S. helicopters landed in Ky La, her tiny village in central Vietnam. As the government and Viet Cong troops fought in and around Ky La, both sides recruited children as spies and saboteurs. Hayslip was one of those children. Before the age of 16, she had suffered near-starvation, imprisonment, torture, rape and the deaths of family members.
Twenty years after her escape from Vietnam, Hayslip was drawn inexorably back to the devastated country and the family she left behind. Her journey is the topic of the second In Focus: Vietnam series at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Hayslip will give a talk titled “Vietnam Then and Now, Through My Experiences” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, in Napier Hall room 101. The talk is free and the public is invited to attend.
She has written best-selling books, “When Heaven and Earth Changed Places” and “Child of War, Woman of Peace,” which are currently included in the curriculum at numerous universities across the country for Asian studies, literature, women's studies and Vietnam conflict courses. In 1994, Hayslip's books were adapted for the silver screen by Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone, in a film titled “Heaven and Earth.”
Hayslip is also the founder of the East Meets West and Global Village foundations, both of which are helping to rebuild Vietnam and establish world peace.
This event is sponsored by the Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Union College Partnership for Global Education, with funds provided through the U.S. Department of Education's Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program.