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Phong Nguyen (1)

Teoksen Bronze Drum tekijä

Katso täsmennyssivulta muut tekijät, joiden nimi on Phong Nguyen.

5+ teosta 168 jäsentä 4 arvostelua

Tekijän teokset

Bronze Drum (2022) 148 kappaletta
Memory Sickness (2011) 7 kappaletta
The Adventures of Joe Harper (2016) 3 kappaletta

Associated Works

Merkitty avainsanalla


Boston, USA



Worthiness is all very well, but not enough to make good storytelling. When dealing with the legendary - an army of women, a killing of a tiger by a handful of women, a woman in the midst of childbirth and battle killing an enemy general, a staid matter of fact voice is no virtue. There are a few felt scenes, but nothing that encouraged me to read on to want to know how the inevitable, because it was history, happened. Contrast this with rel="nofollow" target="_top">King Hereafter. … (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
quondame | 1 muu arvostelu | Oct 7, 2022 |

My Review
: The Trung sisters are actual historical people who lived in 1st-century CE Vietnam. The country we know as Vietnam is, in fact, largely their legacy...these two women were the tutelary spirits of the local ethnic group's desire to be out from under the extremely heavy burden of the Han Empire, ruled by the Han Chinese people. ("Han" in Chinese just means "people" so you certainly know you're not ethnically labeling them when using the term.)

What Author Nguyen has done with this retelling of the Trung Sisters' legend is, given where and with whom he's published his novel, to offer the wider American public something that has been lacking all my life: A sense of Vietnam as an actual country, not simply a state created by then screwed over by, colonial masters. The Viet people are distinct from their neighbors in many ways, not least of them their foundational myth retold here. The sisters were daughters of a local aristocrat whose claim to fame was instilling in them a sense of themselves as different from the Han people oppressing them with taxes and slave-labor demands. This led to the sisters, when their father was murdered by the colonial masters, being made an example of. (A thing thoroughly unpleasant, I needn't remind you...the powerful don't and have never stinted in their cruelty towards those they wish to make examples of.)

What makes the Trungs different, in the sweep of two thousand years of History, is that they didn't command men. Other women have done that. The Trungs had no truck with pusillanimous men, knuckling under to the Han overlords to stay alive.

They raised an army of liberation. Made up of women. As traditional Viet women, that is to say the rulers of their world, they were simply doing what came naturally. Protecting your homeland on the fierceness of those who stand to lose the most by its subsumation into a foreign empire makes a lot of sense.

Not, as you'll imagine, to the Han. The rebellion wasn't successful in all its aims, freedom and matriarchy lost to the simply overwhelming military might of the Han, but the sense of the VIET as a PEOPLE was deeply ingrained.

There is a much-needed glossary in the book; I've seen some criticism of the author's use of formal, seemingly stilted language. Honestly, it seems that way to me too. Then I consider an important fact: This is a legend. It's the distilled essence of the legendary founders of the Viet people's sense of themselves as a unique, valid, culturally rich polity. Rules of twenty-first century grammar and usage, even in Viet which most decidedly this book isn't written in, would be inappropriate. And, let's face it, if you are the kind of reader who blenches at a modicum of work being asked of you to experience this, or any other, story, there's a sea of bland, blah word-blobs out there. Go fish.

Me? I'll be here with the Trungs, a little in awe and a lot in love.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
richardderus | 1 muu arvostelu | Aug 17, 2022 |
Powerful short stories, and all well worth reading. I felt the beginning ones were the strongest in the collection, but there was enough variety and tension as the book progressed that I never got bored, and will certainly search out more of Nguyen's work. If you're a fan of short fiction, this is worth finding.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
whitewavedarling | 1 muu arvostelu | Aug 14, 2016 |
Merkitty asiattomaksi
asianamlitfans | 1 muu arvostelu | Nov 25, 2011 |


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