Mr Vo’s is a story of how faith, hope and courage will triumph over those who try to destroy a person through imprisonment, torture and extreme deprivation. He spent more than a decade in prison and was interrogated and tortured 96 times, nearing death several times.
Mr Vo survived these horrendous years through a belief in God and the spirit of his dead mother, which saved him from death on more than one occasion. In prison he kept from going insane by following a strict routine which included prayers to God and his Mother, creating and route learning his own poems/plays mentally (as there was no pen and paper in the cell) and play acting as a silent lecturer/speaker in different foreign languages.
Fifteen years after being released he still suffers severe physical and mental symptoms such as intermittent muscle spasm, decrease of memory, sleep deprivation, uncontrollable fits of anger, nightmarish flashbacks, and a fear of bright light and high speed. To overcome these symptoms, Mr Vo practices a disciplined daily routine which includes praying, writing and keeping in regular contact with the campaign for human rights.
Mr Vo’s literary works today represent a tone of compassion and forgiveness as well as universal humanistic values for the future generation.
As he says … “somewhere from the deepest point of desperation, there has always been a lingering belief that it will be the kind heart – not the killing, hatred, injustice or dictatorship – that will sing the eternal song about the meaning of our existence.