In April 2012, a Vietnamese man stabbed random white males in a supermarket parking lot in Salt Lake City. Throughout the incident he was heard to shout, “You killed my people, you should all die!” Witnesses and police suspected the attack was in part motivated by delusional recollections of the Vietnam War, which ended before the attacker was born. In a new book, Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal examines what this violent outburst can tell us about war’s traumatic effects on communities over time.
Paisley Rekdal is Utah's Poet Laureate and a professor of English at the University of Utah. She's the author of several books, including five collections of poetry, a memoir, and a book of essays. Her newest is book is nonfiction. It's called The Broken Country: On Trauma, A Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam [Independent bookstores|Amazon].