This recommendation to travelers to Hanoi is a new book published by Yale University Southeast Asia Studies called Hoa Lo/Hanoi Hilton Stories.   The author is Nguyen Chi Thien, who was imprisoned by the Communist government of Vietnam (his country: North Vietnam) for 27 years between 1961 and 1991. 

After his release in 1991 he managed to emigrate to the United States, never having been part of the military or associated with the United States.  He received a fellowship from the International Parliament of Writers.  Internationally renowned as a dissident poet (winning the Rotterdam International Poetry Prize in 1985 when he was in prison at the Hoa Lo, Hanoi Central Prison), his stories are about the prison conditions and the other prisoners there between 1979 and 1985.

Originally writtin in Vietnamese, the Hoa Lo Stories were translated into English by four volunteers and edited into a manuscript for Yale by EditorJean, also as a volunteer.  There are some outstanding images of the Hanoi Central Prison museum taken by Chris McCooey (a Canadian who lives in Japan) on a tour there in 2004.  He donated the images to the Yale publication, which is nonprofit.  The Vietnamese political prisoner author is now a U.S. citizen. 

If you are planning to visit the museum in Hanoi, or have already done so, and found that the propaganda so thick you need a guillotine to cut it, try the Hoa Lo/Hanoi Hilton Stories by Nguyen Chi Thien.  You can find it on