“It’s a graceful novel. It’s beautifully written as a stream of consciousness. It’s not about the war and there are very few novels in translation of that period that aren’t. The novel portrays a traumatized post-war Hanoi. At the end of the war in 1975, after the reunification of North and South Vietnam, the economy had totally collapsed. They had nothing. Again, it’s bleak. It’s the story of a young woman coming of age. Her family are communist cadres and she’s a free spirit, an outsider who doesn’t accept the social mores of the time, the strictness of socialism. She describes Hanoi as a city full of faceless humans, fear and denunciations.” Read more...
The Best Vietnamese Novels