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Tess spoke at the 2018 Shanghai International Literary Festival on the great sweep of life, her Foreign Service quest starting in a postwar and devastated Berlin in her search for adventure and excitement. Her search then led her to the pinnacle of adventure: seven years in Vietnam, 1967-74, where she found even Saigon too tame — before she snared a job with one of the most famous (or infamous) American leaders, John Paul Vann. And that adventure topped out in the intense combat experiences of the Tet Offensive of January 1968.

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