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Lotusland

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4.32  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The lives of two American friends in Vietnam diverge sharply when one chooses the path of a writer and the other strikes it rich in real estate. Their lives further conflict when they find themselves clashing over the Vietnamese women they've come to love.
Paperback, First, 400 pages
Published March 2015 by Guernica Editions
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David Thank you for your questions. Of course, I’d be gratified to see some of the issues covered in my novel make the rounds among the general public,…moreThank you for your questions. Of course, I’d be gratified to see some of the issues covered in my novel make the rounds among the general public, especially concerning Agent Orange, but one needs to establish a wider readership than I currently have.

I’m not sure that my writing can influence debates about any issues that appear in Lotusland, though I hope enough readers discover my book and are at the very least touched by it in some way. To wish for more seems unrealistic, and perhaps too much at this stage of my career.(less)
David Sorry for coming to this question late; I just saw it listed here. Guernica Editions is an independent Canadian publisher, and though they have a wide…moreSorry for coming to this question late; I just saw it listed here. Guernica Editions is an independent Canadian publisher, and though they have a wide distribution they aren't always able to get their books into large bookstores like Barnes & Noble. The more publicity Lotusland receives, and the higher its sales, the more likely it will become available in bookstores.(less)

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4.32  · 
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Claire McAlpine
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A well written story which explores the relationships between two expatriate American men living in Vietnam, both their relationships to each other and the local women they marry/befriend.

One, a struggling writer who considers getting into the commercial business of his friend (because he needs to make money), only too easily thwarted by a new relationship with a traditional lacquer artist and gallery owner Le, in the weeks before he should leave Saigon and move to Hanoi, where the business is b
...more
Melissa
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ebooks, asia
This was a really engaging and well written book. This book focuses on two American males and two Vietnamese females, all living in Vietnam. As an American expat myself, I found the two main American characters to be incredibly realistic in the way they acted, their views of Vietnam and Vietnamese, etc. The thing that really struck me though was how incredibly self centered all four of these characters were. I don't know that there was a single moment in the book when any of those four character ...more
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
Lotusland was my first NetGalley download and I was delighted to swiftly discover a literary novel of travel to exotic climes which perfectly suits my current reading bias.
Set in present-day Vietnam, Lotusland tells the story of Nathan, a struggling American ex-pat writer, who has been living in Saigon for several years. He makes ends meet with various writing assignments and English teaching, but appears to have no real focus and is in a rut. By contrast, the Vietnamese woman he meets, Le, has
...more
Saigon Elk
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Joiner is an excellent writer who doesn't waste a single word - his spare, skilful prose paints a compelling picture of expat life in a fast-changing Vietnam. Lotusland is a story that will stay with you. It's so beautifully written that you'll come to care about the characters - even if you don't admire them.

The story follows the experiences of two very different American expat men in Hanoi. The main character, Nathan, is an idealistic young writer who is determined to understand his new home.
...more
Wayne Malcolm
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Simply put, this is a great book! I don't read novels all that often (I'm a periodical guy), but I have to say this one was a great read!! Not only was the story great, but the ideas and themes are poignant. I think if you read this book you will see yourself in the characters and settings, regardless if you have been to Vietnam or not. Just some preview - it is set in Vietnam, involves a writer, real estate agent, painter, politics, relationships, and the search for who we are as people. When g ...more
Istanbulgibbs
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A canny look into the nature of the Western expat--I was taken with the two characters, one who is making an effort to understand the country he is in, the other who is there to exploit it. I have never seen the nature of being a privileged western expat portrayed so accurately or with such moral force. The picture Joiner paints of Vietnam is also rich, complex, and haunting.
Garry Powell
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In this beautifully written novel, which evokes the exotic beauty as well as the seediness of Vietnam so well, David Joiner uses interwoven plots (rather than the conventional plot and subplot) to focus on trust in different kinds of relationships. The story starts with an intriguing meeting between an enigmatic young Vietnamese woman, Le, and a young American writer, Nathan. There is tension, both erotic and personal, between the two from the moment they meet, and Nathan finds himself rather re ...more
Diane Bracuk
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lotusland is one of the few books on Vietnam that is written by an American, and offers fresh insights into contemporary Vietnam. Ostensibly it’s a love story about an idealistic young English teacher, Nathan who has who has fallen for a beautiful Vietnamese lacquer artist whom he suspects may just be using him to get a US visa. But it is also a story about Nathan’s deep love of a poor, much brutalized country that has suffered dearly at the hands of Americans, but despite that, is finally gett ...more
Samantha Renee
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Beautifully written with characters that are interesting but realistic.
Diana
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Really nice.. made me go through so many emotions. I hate Nathan so much.
Innerlines
Jun 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who are interested in Post-Colonial literature
Recommended to Innerlines by: My English Teacher
3/5
Lotusland by David Joiner follows the perspective, from a third-person limited point of view, of an American journalist living in Vietnam during the Iraq War named Nathan. A struggling artist, Nathan meets a young Vietnamese art curator with pink hair named Le on a train to Saigon, and begins an “arrangement” with her: she would be his girlfriend if he could help her go to America. Even after witnessing numerous warning signs that Le was using him, Nathan continued to help her and pursue a r
...more
Reed
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
A good read set in Vietnam. I enjoyed it having lived in Vietnam, and fell in love with it, and it is clear the author did, too. The protagonist was a little hard to like at times, but he was lucky he got the girl.
David
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I just happened to re-read Lotusland the other day. It was better than I remembered! (Always a relief as an author...)
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David Joiner was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended Earlham College and majored in Japanese Studies. During his junior year he made his first trip to Asia - a five-month study abroad program in Sapporo, Japan. Nine years and several trips to Asia later he earned his MFA from the University of Arizona where he studied fiction, nonfiction, and playwriting. He has been shuttling between ...more
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