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Don’t Break My Rice Bowl

By Robert H. Dodd, Patricia Rykiel, and Beth Jackson; illustrations by Justine Rykiel

Paperback: 306 pages
Publisher: Holey Jumper Press (April 14, 2023)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
Condition: New

Price: $15.99


Feeling life is slipping him by, an American agriculturalist heads to Vietnam to try and make a difference in the lives of the people as part of President Johnson’s ‘Hearts and Minds’ campaign. There is just one big problem – there’s a war going on. Eddie joins a small group of civilian advisors chosen to work with local farmers to help make Vietnam once again self-sufficient in rice. He is drawn to the adventure, the challenge, and the opportunity to make a difference, but he is leaving some problems behind. His story follows the ups and downs of cultural and tropical agriculture training in Washington, DC and the Philippines, and then his assignment in the Gia Dinh province just outside Saigon. The stakes increase as the war intensifies and Eddie’s connections in the country deepen, providing the backdrop for the cultural, political, and personal struggles that unfold.

This semi-autobiographical novel shines a light on a relatively unknown part of Vietnam War history as elements of Asian history and culture, including the introduction of ‘miracle rice,’ are woven into the challenges of being a civilian trying to work – and live – in a war zone.