Nov 3, 2011
Books on Vietnam : Fiction - Short Stories
Titles available in English
By various Vietnamese / American Authors
Book Category: Fiction: Short Stories
Title: The Stars, The Earth, The River
By Le Minh Khue
I translated this book, along with Bac Hoai Tran, so I’m partial to it, but I’m not alone
among its fans. This story collection contains work by one of Vietnam’s leading fiction
writers, some of which date back to the war years and others of which were written more
recently. The early stories, particularly the charming “The Distant Stars,” are quite
romantic in their view of wartime Vietnam. Later stories show a sharp change in tone, as
Khue reveals the disappointments of the post-war era. Sarcastic, bitingly funny, and often
full of pathos, Khue’s stories present Vietnam today in all its richness and complexity.
Title: Fake House
By Linh Dinh
This collection of stories by Vietnamese-American prize-winning poet Linh Dinh offer
an acerbic, insightful look at life among Vietnamese immigrants in the United States.
Kirkus reviews noted the stories’ “vividly imagined characters” and the author Jessica
Hagedorn called Linh “a unique voice in contemporary American literature.”Crossing the River:
Title: Short Fiction by Nguyen Huy Thiep
By Nguyen Huy Thiep
This collection, which I edited with Nguyen Nguyet Cam, is the most comprehensive
edition ever published in English of work by Thiep, acclaimed as Vietnam’s most
provocative and controversial contemporary writer. Widely diverse in form as well as
content, these stories offer a broad and complicated view of Vietnam, from the eerie
mountain villages of the Thai and Muong minority people to the stark and brutal lives of
rural farmers to the cut-throat existence of city dwellers who will do anything to get by. If
you’re really interested in understanding Vietnam, you have to read Thiep.
Title:The Things They Carried
By Tim O’Brien
Maybe the most wrenching, heartbreaking account of war, ever. O’Brien writes so
beautifully that you almost forget how horrifying his story is. Also, try Going After
Title:We Should Never Meet: Stories
by Aimee Phan
In this series of lively, often gripping interlocking stories, Vietnamese-American Phan
explores the peculiar experience of the Vietnamese children, now adults, who were
brought over on Operation Babylift, the U.S.-led effort to evacuate them from war-torn
Saigon and place them with adoptive families overseas.
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