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Fire Road


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"Napalm girl" Kim Phuc (Girl in the Picture) gained inadvertent fame as a 1970s antiwar icon when a photographer took a picture of her as she ran naked from a napalm attack in Vietnam. Kim Phuc now provides the story behind the photo, chronicling her idyllic Vietnamese childhood in a prosperous home, the effects of the painful burns across her body, and her personal trials as she traveled from Vietnam to Cuba and then to Canada. Her Christian conversion is central to her journey, and much of the memoir attests to God's power in her life. Kim Phuc, raised within the CaoDai religion of Vietnam, explains how she found solace in Jesus's suffering and in the stories of Paul after coming across the New Testament in a Saigon library. Vietnamese "minders" working for the Communist government were a constant presence in her life as officials begin to realize Kim Phuc's value as "Vietnam's token propaganda tool." Although the book's faith elements are uplifting and Kim Phuc's descriptions of her conversion are heartfelt, the writing is most lively when she describes her frustrations with the Cold War and its negative impact on her recovery. However, throughout her journey, "marked by distractions, abuses, and false starts," Kim Phuc exhibits forceful resolve, steely self-determination, and seemingly limitless empathy. This spare and lucid memoir will touch readers of all faiths and nationalities.--Publishers Weekly

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