Wonder Club world wonders pyramid logo WonderClub Facebook WonderClub Tweet   WonderClub RSS feed Join WonderClub's Twitter Page Join WonderClub's Facebook Page
World Wonders
Wildlife
Celebrities
Movies
Puzzles
Comics
Video Games

Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion written by John Balaban

 

Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion written by John Balaban

Overview:

Hanoi. The mysterious mountain jungles. The demimondes of the Hue court and the Saigon cafes. A rural commune. A raucous tailor shop. Just as they traverse wide landscapes, these seventeen stories by the best Vietnamese writers also harken through time to the roots of Vietnamese culture.

These 20 stories, from contemporary Vietnamese writers living in Vietnam and abroad, take the literary traveler to extraordinary places: from the jungle-clad mountain ranges of the North to the mysterious silence of the old capital along the Perfume River. Proximity of the spirit world, love of family, exhaustion from war, social protest, and hunger for a better life are among the concerns encountered in these thrilling stories. 2-page map.

Synopsis:

Since relations between the U.S. and Vietnam have normalized, many more people are traveling to this exotic country, previously closed to a generation of Western visitors. Vietnam provides one of the first chances for Americans to know the Vietnamese outside the context of war. Vietnamese have been telling stories for thousands of years, in poetry and in song, in Chinese script and then in Vietnamese nôm, and more recently, in novels and short stories. These 17 stories, from contemporary Vietnamese writers living in Vietnam and abroad, take the literary traveler to extraordinary places: from the jungle-clad mountain ranges of the North to the mysterious silence of the old capital along the Perfume River. Proximity of the spirit world, love of family, exhaustion from war, one's Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist obligations, social protest, and the hunger for a better life — these are some of the concerns to be encountered in these thrilling landscapes. Contributors include Nguyen Huy Thiep, Linh Bao, Nguyen Ba Trac, Thich Duc Thien, Ho Anh Thai, Le Minh Khue, Doan Quoc Sy, Vu Bao, Duong Thu Huong, Andrew Q. Lam, Nguyen Qui Duc, Qui The, Bao Ninh, and Pham Thi Hoai.

Publishers Weekly

The idea behind this series is simple and elegant: Explore a place like Vietnam (or, as in past volumes, Costa Rica or Prague) not through maps or guidebooks but through the writings of that country's best writers Although there is a section called "Remembrance," the 17 short stories don't dwell exclusively on the recent war but instead include section that focus on topographies (Jungles, Rivers, Villages) or cities (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City). Although every contribution is strong, certain ones stand out. In "Salt of the Jungle," Nguyen Huy Thiep describes a slightly surreal story of a man hunting a monkey in mesmerizing prose. ("At around this time, your feet sink into carpets of rotting leaves, you inhale pure air, and, sometimes, your body shudders with pleasure, because a drop of water has struck your bare shoulder.") Le Minh Khue's "A Small Tragedy'' of a catastrophe befalling a powerful family is a more urban drama, one that gives a sense of the uneasy balance between a mystical past and industrialized future in present-day Vietnam. And "Scent of the Tiger," by Qui The, a tragic romantic tale about a college professor and his tiger-tamer wife, evokes a melancholy that seems uniquely Vietnamese. According to Balaban, "While Vietnamese have been telling stories about themselves for 2000 years... almost all of that literary expression has been through poetry. . . . Thus the Western-style short story and novel are fairly recent acquisitions." It is this poetry stated or implied at the heart of every story that makes this collection worthwhile. (Feb.)

Book Buying Options

Buy Digital Book
Only $10.94

Buy Audio Book
Only $21.88


Title: Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion

Have one to sell, click here?

 


Complaints | Coins | Blog | Kites | Digital Media | Magazines | Soul | Obituary | Outdoor Living | Golf | Homeopathy | Contact Us | Books | Makeup | Chat | FAQ


CAN'T FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR? CLICK HERE!!!