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Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam

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A couple's scheme to get rich by killing their father backfires, leaving them in charge of a cripple. In heaven, a baby, dead through neglect, tells his playmates: "Life down there is just one long sleep." A young soldier, saved by a stranger, can never again find her to thank her. A man carries a massive clock. Using a variety of techniques and styles, in this collection A couple's scheme to get rich by killing their father backfires, leaving them in charge of a cripple. In heaven, a baby, dead through neglect, tells his playmates: "Life down there is just one long sleep." A young soldier, saved by a stranger, can never again find her to thank her. A man carries a massive clock. Using a variety of techniques and styles, in this collection of twelve short stories contemporary Vietnamese writers—edited by poet, short story writer, and novelist Linh Dinh—show us Vietnam through their own eyes. Night, Again breaks with the traditional views of the Vietnamese that have focused on the Vietnam War and turns our attention to postwar life in Vietnam. These writers present impressions--at once strange and familiar--of postwar realities.


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A couple's scheme to get rich by killing their father backfires, leaving them in charge of a cripple. In heaven, a baby, dead through neglect, tells his playmates: "Life down there is just one long sleep." A young soldier, saved by a stranger, can never again find her to thank her. A man carries a massive clock. Using a variety of techniques and styles, in this collection A couple's scheme to get rich by killing their father backfires, leaving them in charge of a cripple. In heaven, a baby, dead through neglect, tells his playmates: "Life down there is just one long sleep." A young soldier, saved by a stranger, can never again find her to thank her. A man carries a massive clock. Using a variety of techniques and styles, in this collection of twelve short stories contemporary Vietnamese writers—edited by poet, short story writer, and novelist Linh Dinh—show us Vietnam through their own eyes. Night, Again breaks with the traditional views of the Vietnamese that have focused on the Vietnam War and turns our attention to postwar life in Vietnam. These writers present impressions--at once strange and familiar--of postwar realities.

30 review for Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marcelo Siblag IV

    Parang galing Pilipinas ang mga kuwento. Urban poor lit ng Pinas magkamukha sa urban poor lit ng Vietnam. Sa madaling salita, pare-parehas lang ang mga ubran poor. Magkakamukha lang ang mga panget na pokpok, ang mga magugulong pamilya, at ang mga mapapangheng eskinita. Meron ding mga kuwentong hindi urban poor sa koleksyon na ito. Mga love story na nagsimula sa sad ending. Mga love story ng nakaraan na matagal nang naibaon sa lupa pero hindi makalimutan. Pota. Bakit nga ba ang tagal natin mapagt Parang galing Pilipinas ang mga kuwento. Urban poor lit ng Pinas magkamukha sa urban poor lit ng Vietnam. Sa madaling salita, pare-parehas lang ang mga ubran poor. Magkakamukha lang ang mga panget na pokpok, ang mga magugulong pamilya, at ang mga mapapangheng eskinita. Meron ding mga kuwentong hindi urban poor sa koleksyon na ito. Mga love story na nagsimula sa sad ending. Mga love story ng nakaraan na matagal nang naibaon sa lupa pero hindi makalimutan. Pota. Bakit nga ba ang tagal natin mapagtanto kung sino ang soulmates natin. Incest. Rape. Infidelity. Sex. Prostitution. Pero hindi ito wilwayco book. Soft core siya kumpara sa mga nabasa kong mga kuwentong pumapaksa sa parehas na tema. Pero hindi ko sinasabi kung sino ang mas magaling o mas malupit, pero makikita mo ang pagkakaiba sa atake ng mga Vietnam writers na ito. Kakaiba rin ang panulat nila. May mga kanya kanyang estilo. Iba iba ang paraan ng pagkukwento. Epektib naman ito sa mambabasa. Magaan basahin kahit mabigat ang emosyon na hinahatid. Ang mga writers ng Viet ay mga Vet sa panulat. Kaya Viet na viet ko to.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    In this collection from Seven Stories Press, Linh Dinh has collected together twelve works of fiction by Vietnamese writers. Some of these works are quite sharp, like Nguyen Thi Am's "Sleeping on Earth," a story that by itself is worth the sticker price of this book. Other stories, like The Giang's "A stagnant Water Place," are inventive, but ultimately unfulfilling. But I do applaud Linh Dinh for the scope of this collection--in this, he puts together works from both literary and popular author In this collection from Seven Stories Press, Linh Dinh has collected together twelve works of fiction by Vietnamese writers. Some of these works are quite sharp, like Nguyen Thi Am's "Sleeping on Earth," a story that by itself is worth the sticker price of this book. Other stories, like The Giang's "A stagnant Water Place," are inventive, but ultimately unfulfilling. But I do applaud Linh Dinh for the scope of this collection--in this, he puts together works from both literary and popular authors. Though Vietnam is clearly a place torn in its artistic identity (as we learn in the introduction, one of Vietnam's most famous writers, Duong Thu Huong, is banned), this collection is a good intro to let you learn of some names that hopefully will be a little more available in English in the near future (and they are--check Amazon for Nguyen Huy Thiep, Thu Huong Duong and others). Linh Dinh set out to expose a new landscape in literature, and his collection certainly does that.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nam Pham

    A compilation of several stories with different proximity to the motherland and fluency of translation, from satire to existential text. While most felt unfulfilled, the exposure left me with a strange desire to read something in my mother tongue. Oh, how I hate nostalgia. Dịch được lời, chứ chưa chắc đã dịch được ý. Ai nói ấy nhỉ.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vivienne Strauss

    I'm so glad to have stumbled upon this collection of short stories - each one will break your heart in a profoundly unique way. I'm so glad to have stumbled upon this collection of short stories - each one will break your heart in a profoundly unique way.

  5. 5 out of 5

    authorial

    I loved it. It is a sad reflection on the post-Reform Vietnamese society, where the glorious Revolution has ultimately failed.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ElenaSquareEyes

    Like with a lot of short story collections, I found Night, Again to be a bit of a mixed bag and unfortunately in this case I wasn’t grabbed by many of them. I thought the writing in them was generally good, and they each were like a slice of life for often very normal people. There were a few I really liked though. One of them was “A Marker on the Side of the Boat” by Bao Ninh. This story was about a soldier who was saved by a woman, but then the pair of them are caught in a bombing. This was a f Like with a lot of short story collections, I found Night, Again to be a bit of a mixed bag and unfortunately in this case I wasn’t grabbed by many of them. I thought the writing in them was generally good, and they each were like a slice of life for often very normal people. There were a few I really liked though. One of them was “A Marker on the Side of the Boat” by Bao Ninh. This story was about a soldier who was saved by a woman, but then the pair of them are caught in a bombing. This was a fast paced and engaging story that pulls you in in such a short number of pages. “Gunboat on the Yangtze” by Tran Vu was an unsettling one as it was about a brother and sister who have an incestuous relationship. It’s an uncomfortable read really as to begin with even though their relationship is obviously unhealthy, there’s an almost innocence to their relationship that it seems actually supportive and good for them. That strange feeling doesn’t last for long, as events quickly take an even darker turn. A lot of the stories in Night, Again were dark or depressing. Even the ones that were lighter in tone had a sense of melancholy about them as the characters often had a bittersweet moment of realisation about their circumstances or who they were. I did get a bit of whiplash going from story to story as while a lot of them were pretty gloomy, there was the odd story like “Scenes from an Alley” by Le Minh Khue, which was a darkly funny tale. All in all the majority of stories in Night, Again weren’t that memorable, but I’m pleased I read some stories that weren’t just focussed on a war, but often instead dealt with the everyday tragedies.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    a lot of the stories appear to lose something in translation, but there were a few pretty good ones. it's really somewhere between 2 and 3 stars, but gets the round up because all the stories are by vietnamese authors and most offer a look at vietnamese culture, which is what i was hoping for. a lot of the stories appear to lose something in translation, but there were a few pretty good ones. it's really somewhere between 2 and 3 stars, but gets the round up because all the stories are by vietnamese authors and most offer a look at vietnamese culture, which is what i was hoping for.

  8. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is a marvelous collection, demonstrating a number of different writers who apparently write very different kinds of stories though all of high quality. I enjoyed it a great deal. I might have to track down some other stuff from a few of these authors. I'm intrigued. This is a marvelous collection, demonstrating a number of different writers who apparently write very different kinds of stories though all of high quality. I enjoyed it a great deal. I might have to track down some other stuff from a few of these authors. I'm intrigued.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Malika

    I did not like this book, mostly because the stories were dark and depressing, and I like my fiction to have a happy ending. The translation was great - beautiful, but still keeping the feeling of the original language.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    beautiful short stories that are really meaningful especially if you are Vietnamese or have spent time in the country. Great great literature coming out now...excellent translations.

  11. 5 out of 5

    destanie

    Not all the stories are equally good; judging by the merit of the best stories, I would have give it 4 stars.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    A rather depressing read!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  15. 4 out of 5

    Travis

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nithun

  17. 4 out of 5

    Trish

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen Molloy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  20. 4 out of 5

    John Brookes

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brian Haynes

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ethan M

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hana Gabrielle Bidon

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Coakley

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tim Miles

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Lee

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Haukoos-Tischer

  30. 5 out of 5

    Extant

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