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Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai


Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

Born and raised in Việt Nam, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is the author of THE MOUNTAINS SING, runner-up for the 2021 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the 2020 BookBrowse Best Debut Award, the 2021 International Book Awards, the 2021 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and the 2020 Lannan Literary Award Fellowship for Fiction. She has published 12 books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction and has received some of the top literary prizes in Việt Nam. Her writing has been translated into 20 languages and has appeared in major publications, including the New York Times. She has a PhD in creative writing from Lancaster University. She is an advocate for the rights of disadvantaged groups in Việt Nam and has founded several scholarship programs, and she was named by Forbes Vietnam as one of 20 inspiring women of 2021.

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

Books by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai - Fiction

In 1969, sisters Trang and Quỳnh, desperate to help their parents pay off debts, leave their rural village and become “bar girls” in Sài Gòn. The once-innocent Trang eventually gets swept up in an irresistible romance with a charming American helicopter pilot. Decades later, an American veteran, Dan, returns to Việt Nam with his wife, Linda, hoping to find a way to heal from his PTSD and reckon with secrets from his past. At the same time, 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 Việt Nam. Past and present converge as these characters come together to confront decisions made during a time of war --- decisions that force them to look deep within and find common ground across race, generation, culture and language.

by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai - Fiction, Historical Fiction

THE MOUNTAINS SING tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam 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 apart not just her beloved country, but her family as well.