Monday, February 25, 2013

Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong

I travelled through the USA last summer, 
and stopped in at one of my favourite book stores,
Diane's books in Greenwich, Connecticut. 
Diane is one of those bookshop owners who tunes 
into your interests and offers wonderful recommendations. 
When I told her I had recently moved to Vietnam 
and was looking for books to help me understand the culture,
she grabbed this book, placed it in my hands,
held tight and said..
"you must read this will love it."

She was right...I did.

" A rich, sensuous journey through a Vietnam rarely seen by outsiders,
Paradise of the Blind tells the story of three women fighting to maintain
their dignity under a government that discards old values and 
tears families apart. Hang, a young girl growing into womanhood 
in the Hanoi slums, finally learns the truth about her father's disappearance 
and death during the era of government-imposed land reform.
 Meanwhile, Hang's self-sacrificing mother, a struggling street vendor, 
watches helplessly as her life is shattered by the political 
machinations of her own brother. And the mysterious Aunt Tam, 
who has accumulated wealth and bitterness in 
equal measure, fights for her niece's loyalty-and future.

Long banned in its own country, this moving novel captures the hunger, 
pride and endurance of ordinary people in a land of intoxicating beauty... 
as it provides a rare, insightful look into a changing Vietnam."

With thanks to Diane for recommending this book to me.
It has enriched my experience in Vietnam, immeasurably.

If you would like to discover this book for yourself, you can find it here.
If you happen to be travelling through Greenwich, Connecticut...
you can find Diane here.

book photo via

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