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Dust Child by Nguyen Phan Que Mai


Have you read this Book? Well, you must.

This is my second book of this Author, the first one was "The Mountains Sing" which completely blew my mind and I just couldn't put it down. Had to finish it in one sitting.


It is the same experience I had with her second book "Dust Child". This is set in the 1970's against the backdrop of the Vietnam war, the story follows the lives of two sisters Trang and Quynh, desperate to help their parents pay off debts, leave their rural village and to become "bar girls" in Sai Gon. .


The two sister have two different personalities. One looking for forever love, falls for an American pilot - Dan. Dan returns to Vietnam looking for Trang while dealign with his PTSD with the support of his wife and another looking how to survive the war as it moves closer to their city.


At the same time, another story revolves around a boy Phang - the son of Black American soldier and Vietnamese women, the story around is what called "Dust Child of Vietnam". Author takes deep glimpses of lives of such children born during the war from inter racial affairs. How their lives became unwanted in the Vietnam community post war, the desperation to find their fathers and way to get out of the lives and the country throws is what unknown to many.


In nutshell, the book is just "un-put-down'able" . You just have to read it to feel it. We all have heard about the sufferings the war brought to both the countries, but how much do we know? How much you are willing to know?



From Author Nguyen- "In April 2014, I read a story which moved me deeply. Jerry Quinn, an American veteran, traveled back to Ho Chi Minh city with an Album of old photos, looking for his girlfriend and their son. They had been separated in 1973, forty-one year earlier. Mr. Quinn's story made me realise the urgency to find their lost children that some American veterans, now in their sixties and seventies, were feeling. "


"Dust Child is my love letter to those who have been discriminated against, mistreated, misunderstood. It is my attempt to decolonise literature in English about Vietnam".



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