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ແພງແມ່ [Mother's Beloved: Stories from Laos]
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ແພງແມ່ [Mother's Beloved: Stories from Laos]

3.24  ·  Rating Details ·  38 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
This book presents 14 of Outhine Bounyavong's short stories in English translation alongside the Lao originals, marking his formal debut for an American audience. It is also the first collection of Lao short stories to be published in the English language. Peter Koret's Introduction explores the history of modern Lao literature and considers Outhine's writing within this b ...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published December 1st 1999 by University of Washington Press (first published January 1st 1999)
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Boy, I feel bad giving this a bad review. It's the first short story collection translated in English to come out of the Lao PDR, and Outhine is considered one of their most important writers. But this mostly sucked. I'm not sure it was lost in translation, either. I think each story was meant to be told in such a painfully obvious way. I recognize that to a large extent this is a cultural difference-- a long spell in Thailand and Laos, and a lot of time watching soap operas in Thailand and Laos ...more
Harry Rutherford
Mother’s Beloved is a collection of short stories from Laos; even with an introductory essay and with the Lao printed opposite the English, it’s only 160 pages. BTW, I don’t know a lot about Lao names, but I think that ‘Outhine’ is the surname.

I knew absolutely nothing about Laos except its approximate location (between Thailand and Vietnam). Fortunately this book has an essay about contemporary Lao literature that acted as a quick primer on the country’s modern history, which has been fairly gr
Lora Grigorova
Oct 07, 2014 Lora Grigorova rated it it was ok
Mother’s Beloved: Stories from Laos – Outhine Bounyavong:

Most of the short stories in Mother’s Beloved were written during the communist rule – the simplicity of the situations are typical for a regime, in which too much ambiguity is mostly regarded as politically suspicious. For the experienced reader it felt as reading fables. Bounyavong’s characters are faced with moral dilemmas, the resolution of which clearly demonstrates what the ideal citizen shoul
Jun 26, 2014 Marina rated it it was ok
A rather boring collection of moralistic tales from Laos. Quite good to have an insight on Lao life, especially outside of the capital city, but with little to no literary value, I'm afraid.

For a review in Italian, please visit:
Feb 16, 2017 Chris rated it really liked it

Mother's Beloved: Stories from Laos by Outhine Bounyavong

Preparing a visit to a foreign country, or even while traveling there, I always try to read some ‘local’ literature. For my visit to Laos this volume of short stories by Outhine Bounyavong, is perfect for this occasion. It not only holds some beautiful heartfelt stories but also starts off with an interesting introduction to Laos literature by Peter Koret.

Laos has a centuries-old tradition of Buddhist literature, the earliest records datin
Jul 29, 2015 Peggy rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Like others here, I read this for a reading challenge. In my case, I needed to read something by a Laotian author for a square on my reading bingo - this is one of the only (maybe the only?) work by a Laotian author translated into English, so I gave it a try. I did enjoy the glimpse into Laotian life, but I agree with most of the reviewers here that it wasn't particularly engaging. The stories were very moralistic, and the pro-communism morals of the stories were a bit much at times. I would be ...more
Ben Rowe
I read this because I am trying to read books by authors from countries I haven't read before. These simple, moralistic tales did give me a sense for life in Laos and with the detailed introduction to Lao literature I felt I got a little bit of a sense for the literature of the place.

Its a very short volume as half of it is taken up with the original language version and were it longer I might have struggled to get through it but overall I enjoyed it.
K's Bognoter
Mar 22, 2016 K's Bognoter rated it it was ok
Jeg ville virkelig gerne have kunnet give denne bog en god anmeldelse. Det er bare ikke muligt. Disse historier fra Laos er alle jammerligt kedsommelige. Men ufrivilligt interessante som eksempler på, hvordan der stort set aldrig kommer god litteratur ud af intentioner om at skrive politisk opbyggelig fiktion.

Læs hele anmeldelsen på K's bognoter:
Bree Riley
Sep 03, 2016 Bree Riley rated it really liked it
Read a lot of negative reviews on this one but I actually really enjoyed it. The stories are all very short and straight forward. There is not a lot going on but the telling was very endearing. They reminded me of the kind of stories your mother might tell when you go to visit after being away for a few weeks. Nothing too significant but pleasant and engaging enough. Little snapshots more than anything else.
Jul 27, 2013 Val rated it it was ok
Shelves: world-tour, world-tbc
I had some difficulty finding a book for Laos. Two other World Tour readers found and read this one, so I decided to join them.
The stories are OK and they do give some insights into Lao life, but I don't think I would recommend this book to a friend as I took some time to read all of them. I read the stories one or two at a time, the book didn't make me want to read more.
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