Virtual Event: Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
The Mountains Sing:
in conversation with VIET THANH NGUYEN
May 8, 2020
7:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series and the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network welcome celebrated Vietnamese poet NGUYỄN PHAN QUẾ MAI for a discussion of her debut novel, The Mountains Sing. She will be joined in conversation by VIET THANH NGUYEN, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Sympathizer.
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While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of The Mountains Sing from our affiliate Bookshop page, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About The Mountains Sing
With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War. Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.
Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.
Praise for The Mountains Sing
“Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s sweeping tale proves on every page that despite war-time tragedies and numbing ugliness, the human desire to forgive and thrive soars as high as the mountains. An essential read for Vietnamese and Vietnamese-Americans searching to understand their grandparents and parents who lived through the war in Việt Nam.” —Thanhhà Lai, National Book Award–winning author of Inside Out & Back Again and Butterfly Yellow
“Quế Mai tells the story of the war that tore apart Việt Nam, and of the generation lost to the war, by braiding around it two beautiful strands told by the older and younger generations of a family. This book is an act of love, compassion, and ultimately healing, and very much needed by all who survived the war.” —Thi Bui, author of The Best We Could Do
"Nguyễn writes of Vietnamese history with such understanding and humanity that one can easily argue for The Mountains Sing’s status as the great Vietnamese novel of our time. There is a sure love for Vietnam’s culture and its people in these pages . . . [Nguyễn is] a wise observer of human nature, not just our many moods and multitudes, but our vulnerabilities and strengths as well." —Eric Nguyen, diaCRITICS'
The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN)’s primary mission is to promote voices and stories of the Vietnamese diaspora through nurturing writers, poets and artists, and connecting their work to readers, audience, and diasporic communities all over the globe. For more information, visit: http://www.dvan.org/mission
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