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HOST OF BOOKS DEAL WITH VIETNAM WAR, ITS EFFECTS

Though 20 years have passed since the fall of Saigon, the tumult the Vietnam War caused still confounds both Vietnamese and American authors, as seen in the rush of spring books dealing with the war and its aftermath.

In addition to the newsmaking "In Retrospect," by Robert MacNamara, three other books are attempting to assess the war's impact."A Lovely Country" (Harcourt Brace), a first novel by David Lawton, a Vietnam veteran, deals with the final years of the American presence in Vietnam, with double agents and corrupt generals, seedy brothels and jaded diplomats.

From Vietnam's side comes "A Novel Without a Name" (William Morrow) by Duong Thu Huong, an effort to assess the war's psychological impact on the Vietnamese.

And "The Sorrow of War," (Pantheon) by Bao Ninh, is being called the Vietnamese version of "All Quiet on the Western Front."

- Mary B.W. Tabor