The Mountains Sing
With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lees Pachinko or Yaa Gyasis Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratners In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells an ...more
It took me seven years, hundreds of revisions, many sleepless nights, tears... and finally THE MOUNTAINS SING is here. I am so thankful to you - my precious Readers - for the gift of your time: time that you have spent or will spend with the Trần family in my novel.
Grandma Diệu Lan in THE MOUNTAINS SING is the grandmother I always wished for. Both my grandmothers had died before my birth and I wanted to have a grandma who would sing me lullabies, tell me the legends and tales of my ...more
How much privation and loss and violence can one small nation endure? If you were to study the history of Vietnam in the 20th century, it would almost seem as if the fates had set out to determine the answer to that question. Most of us are familiar with the Vietnam War from the American ...more
Although quite beautiful, The ...more
The Mountains Sing is a beautiful, heartbreaking novel of family, forgiveness, and perseverance by Vietnamese author Nguyen Phan Que Mai. It features a split timeline, which I usually avoid in historical fiction because so often one timeline is much better than the other(s). In this case, however, I enjoyed it. The two main timelines wove together to paint a picture of Vietnams rich culture ...more
I have recently read wonderful books by Vietnamese authors, Ocean Vuong (On Earth Were Briefly Gorgeous) and Thannha Lai (Butterfly Yellow), and Chris Bohjalians new book (The Red Lotus) partially takes place in Vietnam. Each of those books pieces together for readers how beautiful the country is and how deeply rooted the people ...more
If this be her criteria, then Que Mai succeeds beautifully. All too many Americans have read Vietnamese writers who help them try to gain an understanding of the sad and futile Vietnamese War and our indefensible part in it. This author goes much further, bringing readers ...more
Having studied the Vietnam War in school, I was never exposed to the other side of the story the extreme hardships faced by the Vietnamese people before, during, and after the war, and specifically those residing in ...more
There is good reason that The Mountains Sing [Algonquin Books, March 17, 2020], the first novel in English by award-winning poet Nguyen Phan Que Mai, has been ranked among the most exciting writers to emerge in post-war Vietnamit is, in a word, breathtaking.
The Mountains Sing is an epic, multi-generational narrative that traces the arc of Vietnams turbulent and painful twentieth century history as Que Mai gracefully weaves together the ...more
Can I already say that this book will be my favorite read of the year?
THE MOUNTAINS SING is a multi-generational tale of the Tran family, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. I was hooked from the beginning - told in multiple POVs and timelines, this book allows us a profound and rare glimpse into the Vietnamese history. There are vivid descriptions and heartfelt emotions that bring the words to life. Beautifully ...more
The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
We didnt perish that day, in November 1972. After the sirens had signaled that it was safe, Grandma and I emerged, shivering thin leaves. We staggered out to the street. Several buildings had collapsed, their rubble spilling onto our path.
Hương lives in the midst of the Vietnam War. Her family has all gone to serve in the war except for her grandmother, Tran Dieu Lan, who takes care of her and protects her. Hươngs grandmother will do everything to...more
The Mountains Sing is just such an immersive book.
Covering four generations, weaving back and forth ...more
Thank you to @algonquinbooks for my gifted copy!
Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her children during the Land Reform. 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 ravaged not just her beloved country, but her family as well.
I'm the kind of person who gets hung up on proper pronunciation, ...more
The author dedication hit me even harder after finishing the book. This is a super important book and I would recommend it to everyone. ...more
I am not going to spoil any of this book for anyone, what I will share is this is a ...more
I really enjoyed this debut title, and learned a lot about Vietnamese history as I read it. It mainly takes place during two historic periods of time: the Land Reform at the rise of Communism and during & after the Vietnam ...more
"Politics is as dirty as sewage."
Truer words have not been spoken. This is the best book I have read about Vietnam written from the Vietnamese point of view. The history lesson includes the French and Japanese occupations, the Viet Minh war (Indochina War), the great hunger and the land reform after the Geneva Accords until the eventual reunification. All of it is told from the viewpoint of several generations of the Tran family that suffered and survived ...more