Lost in Vietnam

Chuck Forsman, Le Ly Hayslip

A stunning visual tour of Vietnam by a returning war veteran and accidental artist searching for understanding and healing from the scars of war.
Date Published :
February 2019
Publisher :
George F Thompson Publishing
Illustration :
112 photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781938086571
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 11.875 X 11 inches
In stock


Vietnam is an ancient and beautiful land, with a deep history of occupational conflict that remains an enigma in Americans’ collective memory. It is still easy to forget that Vietnam is a country and not a war, even as America’s role in Vietnam inflamed and divided the American citizenry in ways that are still evident today. It is as if Vietnam’s civil war resurrected our own. And if you are a Vietnam War veteran or a family member of a vet, it’s worse, because, even after a half-century, many of the wounds won’t heal. What do you do when you have given up on forgetting?

Chuck Forsman is one of a sizable number of aging Vietnam vets who have found deep satisfaction in revisiting Vietnam, supporting charities, orphanages, and clinics, doing volunteer work and more—anything to redeem what the U.S. military did there. He is also a renowned painter and photographer who depicts places and environments in ways that become unforgettable visual experiences for the contemporary viewer.

Lost in Vietnam chronicles a journey, not a country. They were taken on visits averaging two months each and two-year intervals over a decade. Forsman traveled largely by motorbike throughout the country—south, central, and north—sharing his experiences through amazing photographs of Vietnam’s lands and people. His visual journey of one such veteran’s twofold quest: the one for redemption and understanding, and the other to make art. The renowned Le Ly Hayslip introduces the book and sets the table for Forsman’s incredible sojourn.

About The Author

Chuck Forsman is Professor of Art Emeritus at the University of Colorado, where he taught painting. He has had more than 50 one-person shows, half of which were in museums and art centers. His work is included in more than 20 public collections, including the Denver Art Museum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Phoenix Art Museum, and Princeton University Museum of Art. Forsman has been awarded three National Endowment for the Arts awards, three University of Colorado Faculty Fellowships, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, among other honors. Forsman’s previous published books are Arrested Rivers: Paintings by Chuck Forsman (University Press of Colorado, 1994), Western Rider: Views from a Car Window (Center for American Places, 2003), Along Buddha's River: Currents of Change on the Mekong (self-published, 2011), and Walking Magpie: On and off the Leash (George F. Thompson Publishing, in association with the Denver Art Museum, 2013).

Le Ly Hayslip is a writer, philanthropist, and humanitarian whose life has been documented in Oliver Stone’s film Heaven and Earth. She is the author of two path-breaking memoirs, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places (Doubleday, 1989) and Child of War, Woman of Peace (Doubleday, 1993).


"What a remarkable set of photographs! Chuck Forsman’s exploration of Vietnam, of getting lost in Vietnam, captures strikingly the beauty of human life and livelihood in a landscape many of us once reviled and worked to destroy and to which so many Vietnam vets have been drawn back again and again to ease our culpability. Le Ly Hayslip’s emotional understanding of attachment to place uniquely frames the photos of her motherland, and every picture tells a story of people struggling daily for means to survive and to fashion meaning in their lives. Lost in Vietnam is that rare book that heals even as it enlightens."

- Joseph S. Wood, Senior Scholar, American Geographical Society, author of The New England Village, and combat engineer in Vietnam, 1970–1971

"Forsman’s work is remarkable for its curiosity and its respect for the people and culture of Vietnam..."

- The VVA Veteran

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