at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Fiction & Literature from Viet Nam


The Sympathizer: A Novel
Viet Thanh Nguyen

The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as six other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.

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Wild Mustard: New Voices from Viet Nam
Van Giá (Author), Charles Waugh (Editor), Lien Nguyen (Editor), Ngoc Tu Nguyen (Contributor), Anh Vu Nguyen (Contributor), Vinh Nguyen Nguyen (Contributor), Dinh Tu Nguyen (Contributor), and The Hung Nguyen (Contributor)

Wild Mustard, an anthology of prizewinning short fiction by contemporary Vietnamese writers, throws into relief the transformations of self and place that followed Vietnam’s turn toward a market economy. In just three decades, since the 1986 policy known as doi moi (renovation) ended collectivization and integrated Vietnam into world markets, the country has transformed from one of the poorest and most isolated on earth into a dynamic global economy. The nineteen stories in this volume capture the kaleidoscopic experiences of Vietnam’s youth, navigating between home and newly expanded horizons, as they seek new opportunities through migration, education, and integration not only into their nation but into the world.

In the tradition of the “Under 40” collections popularized by magazines such as the New Yorker and Granta, but with greater stakes and greater differences between the previous generation of writers and this new one, Wild Mustard seeks to change how North American readers think of Vietnam. Escaping the common fixation on the Vietnam War and its aftermath, these stories reflect the movement and dynamism of the young Vietnamese who locate themselves amid the transnational encounters and proliferating identities of a global economy.

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Paradise of the Blind
Duong Thu Hoang (Author) and Nina McPherson (Author)

Paradise of the Blind is an exquisite portrait of three Vietnamese women struggling to survive in a society where subservience to men is expected and Communist corruption crushes every dream. Through the eyes of Hang, a young woman in her twenties who has grown up amidst the slums and intermittent beauty of Hanoi, we come to know the tragedy of her family as land reform rips apart their village. When her uncle Chinh‘s political loyalties replace family devotion, Hang is torn between her mother‘s appalling self–sacrifice and the bitterness of her aunt who can avenge but not forgive. Only by freeing herself from the past will Hang be able to find dignity –– and a future.
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The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Viet Nam

Bao Ninh (Author), Frank Palmos (Editor), and Phan Thanh Hao (Translator)

Bao Ninh, a former North Vietnamese soldier, provides a strikingly honest look at how the Vietnam War forever changed his life, his country, and the people who live there. Originaly published against government wishes in Vietnam because of its nonheroic, non-ideological tone, The Sorrow of War has won worldwide acclaim and become an international bestseller.
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