I have asked permission to dedicate this book to you not only in memory of the hagpy evenings I have spent with you in Saigon over the last five years; but also because I have quite shamelessly borrowed the location of your flat to house one of iny characters; and your name; Phuong; for the convenience of readers because it is simple; beautiful and easy to pronounce; which is not true of all your couiftry- women’s names. You will both realise I have borrowed little else; certainly not the characters of anyone in Viet Nam. Pyle; Granger; Fowler; Vigot; Joe— these have had no originals in the life of Saigon or Hanoi; and General The is dead : shot in the back; so thfcy say. Even the historical events have been rearranged. For example; the big bomb near the Continental preceded and did not follow the bicycle bombs. I have no scruples about such small changes. This is a story and not a piece of history; and I hope that as a story about a few imaginary characters it will pass for both of you one hot Saigon evening.