Vietnam has a rich literary tradition that dates back centuries. Many books on Vietnam delve into the country's history, culture, and politics, offering insight into the experiences of its people and the events that have shaped their nation.
We have a separate section for books on the Vietnam War which caused great social and political upheaval in South East Asia in the 1960s and 1970s.
Elsewhere, Vietnamese Cooking Any Day was one of our best cookbooks of 2019. For poetry Call Me By My True Names by Vietnamese Zen master Tich Nhat Hanh is one of the best books for an introduction to Buddhism.
The Best Vietnamese Novels, recommended by Sherry Buchanan
Vietnam has had a tumultuous history and its literature is one powerful way of trying to understand it better. Journalist, author and publisher Sherry Buchanan—who has spent two decades introducing Vietnam’s culture to English-speaking audiences—talks us through the best Vietnamese novels available in English, spanning the years from French colonialism to the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.
The Best Vietnam War Books, recommended by Karl Marlantes
In 1968 Karl Marlantes was a 22-year old Rhodes scholar and did not have to go to Vietnam. He nonetheless joined the US Marine Corps, ending up with multiple medals but also lifelong PTSD. In this interview, he recommends the best Vietnam War books, exploring its moral ambiguities, the warrior mentality and the humanity of ‘the enemy.’
Elizabeth Harris recommends the best Introductions to Buddhism
Where does one start if one wants to know about Buddhism? Professor and practitioner, Elizabeth Harris, recommends some of the best books to get you going on the path to Enlightenment.