War correspondent's memoir published hinh anh 1Tran To Nga (middle) at her book launching event, organised by the Tre Publishing House, in HCM City (Photo: thethaovanhoa.vn)

HCM City (VNA) — The memoir of a 75-year-old Vietnamese-French woman, Tran To Nga, who was correspondent for the Liberation News Agency, the predecessor of the Vietnam News Agency, was released in HCM City on August 30.

The 450-page book, Duong tran-Ngon lua khong bao gio tat (Path of life-The fire never dies), features memories of her life in the revolutionary cause.

It includes her work in an Agent Orange (AO) lawsuit against 37 US chemical companies, which began in 2009. 

The book also highlights her time in HCM City in 2015. She met AO victims to sue US chemical companies that manufactured the defoliant. The trial was held before the Crown Court of Evry in Paris.

AO, which contained the deadly chemical dioxin, was a defoliant used by the US during the war in Vietnam.

The writer’s love for her country, comrades and family are also featured. 

Nga was born in Saigon in 1941. She moved to Hanoi and later worked for the Liberation News Agency during the fiercest period of the American war.

In 1966 and later she worked in some of the most heavily AO/dioxin-affected areas in southern Vietnam such as Cu Chi and Ben Cat of Saigon (now HCM City) and Song Be province (now Binh Duong) and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, ultimately experiencing the effects of contamination herself.

She gave birth to three children, the eldest of which died of a heart disorder and the second one inherited a blood disease.

Nga herself suffers from numerous diseases as a consequence of her exposure to AO, many of which have been recognised by the US government as associated with the toxic chemical.

In 2009, Nga appeared as a witness at the Court of Public Opinion in Paris against the US chemical companies.

From 1961 to 1971, US troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of herbicides over southern Vietnam, 44 million litres of which were AO, containing nearly 370kg of dioxin.

Last year, Nga released her book, Ma terre ampoisonnée (My poisoned land), features her views about wars in Vietnam and dioxin. 

More than 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical. Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants live with deformities and diseases as a direct result of the chemical’s effects.

“I hope young readers will learn some things about life and happiness after reading my book,” Nga said.

“Nga wrote her book for a better life,” said Nguyen Minh Nhut, Director of the Trẻ (Youth) Publishing House, the printer of the book. 

Nga’s status as an AO victim and French national have allowed lawyers to sue the US chemical firms in France, and this could end up benefiting not only Nga but also millions of Vietnamese AO victims.-VNA