Nguyen Phan Que Mai
This book is scheduled to be published on 20/04/2023.
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‘Dazzling. Sharply drawn and hauntingly beautiful.’ Elif Shafak, Women’s Prize-shortlisted author of The Island of Missing Trees
In 1969, two sisters from rural Viet Nam leave their parents’ home and travel to the bustling city of Sai Gon. Soon their lives are swept up in the unstoppable flames of a war that is blazing through their country. They begin working as ‘bar girls’ in one of the drinking dens frequented by American GIs, forced to accept that survival now might mean compromising the values they once treasured.
Decades later, two men wander through the streets and marketplaces of a very different Sai Gon: modern, forward-looking, healing. Phong – the son of a Black American soldier and a Vietnamese woman – embarks on a search to find his parents and a way out of Viet Nam, while Dan, a war veteran, hopes that retracing the steps of his youth will ease the PTSD that has plagued him for decades.
When the lives of these unforgettable characters converge, each is forced to reckon with the explosive events of history that still ripple through their lives. Now they must work out what it takes to move forward in this richly poetic saga from Nguyen Phan Que Mai at her very best.
'Dazzling. Sharply drawn and hauntingly beautiful.' -- Elif Shafak, Women's Prize-shortlisted author of The Island of Missing Trees 'Nguyen Phan Que Mai will win many more readers with her powerful and deeply empathetic second novel... A heartbreaking tale of lost ideals, human devotion, and hard-won redemption.' -- Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of The Sympathizer 'Intricately weaved, the characters coax you into their world effortlessly. An important historical moment and Nguyen Phan Que Mai is a knowledgable and sympathetic guide.' -- Melody Razak, author of Moth 'Once again, Nguyen Phan Que Mai has written a beautiful novel that shines a light on the history of Vietnam... Dust Child is simply stunning.' -- Eric Nguyen, author of Things We Lost to the Water 'A heartbreaking, beautifully told, utterly unique story of love, loss, and longing that speaks to the very heart of the human experience.' -- Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars 'Que Mai shows us the capacity we hold to confront our pasts, for the purpose of life is not to remain intact, but to break open, to let loss be a guide, to face the echoes of longing. In Dust Child, rupture leads to emotional richness and pain creates the pathways worth walking. I truly cannot wait for the rest of the world to celebrate this book.' -- Chanel Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Know My Name 'Well-researched, realistic, and compassionately written... This eye-opening and fascinating novel is a must-read!' -- Le Ly Hayslip, bestselling author of When Heaven and Earth Changed Places 'Nguyen Phan Que Mai is one of the most unique storytellers of our time... She creates plots which are Dickensian in their breadth and mastery, while bravely probing the complex emotional challenges of living in a modern world full of disruption and displacement.' -- Natalie Jenner, internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society 'A powerful and moving story, brilliantly told.' -- Robert Mason, New York Times bestselling author of Chickenhawk 'This novel stands out with its complexity and empathy toward Vietnamese and American peoples involved in the Viet Nam War... Once I started reading, I could not put the book down.' -- Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, author of This Is All I Choose to Tell: History and Hybridity in Vietnamese American Literature 'Riveting... Nguyen creates, in her luminous prose, a gripping and nuanced narrative of men and women caught in the web of war and its aftermath.' -- Steven DeBonis, author of Children of the Enemy: Oral Histories of Vietnamese Amerasians and Their Mothers 'With great compassion, with a firm conviction in the redeeming power of love and forgiveness, and with the consummate skill of a great story-teller, Nguyen Phan Que Mai weaves us into the lives, past and present, of those called "the dust of life"-the ostracized, mixed-race children of American soldiers; their mothers, compelled by war into prostitution, and their fathers, the G.I.'s who abandoned them and yet remained haunted by them.' -- Wayne Karlin, author of Wandering Souls: Journeys with the Dead and the Living in Viet Nam
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