Books: Summer Reading

Vacation volumes mix memory, humor and suspense

THE BLUE-EYED SHAN by Stephen Becker

Random House; 270 pages; $13.50

An American anthropologist named Greenwood spends several years with the Shan people in Pawlu, a tiny village near the border between China and Burma. He marries and fathers a daughter before news of World War II belatedly reaches him, driving him from his remote adopted home to join the U.S. Army and the larger struggle. In 1949, back in the U.S., he receives a letter from Yang Yulin, a wartime comrade who is now a general in...

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