Thursday, March 7, 2019
Booklist Starred Review
Catherine Rossi's dream, in 1987, is to find the remains of her son, Lieutenant Nicola Rossi, the only American unaccounted for after a deadly firefight in Vietnam in 1967. So she travels to the Mekong Delta with her daughter, Chi Lan, 18, adopted from a Catholic Vietnamese orphanage when she was five. At the small inn where the Rossis stay, employee Le Giang believes Mrs. Rossi's quest is highly unlikely to be fulfilled, but he comes to treasure the companionship of Chi Lan. The narration alternates between the voices of Lieutenant Rossi in 1967 and Le Giang, in the present of 1987, a man born and conscripted in the north who defected to the army of the south, then was imprisoned for "reeducation" in the north for 10 years. Both men describe the horrors and deprivations of war, along with the bonds of fellowship forged, as well as the natural beauty and dangers of the country, on the way to a healing climax. Ha's prose is so clear and vivid, whether describing a dying soldier's wounds or local flora and fauna, and his message is so powerfully understated that this beautifully written novel should have a place alongside the best fiction of the Vietnam War.—Booklist
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Richly sensory, gorgeously descriptive, harrowingly disturbing, and beautifully told, Khanh Ha’s Mrs. Rossi’s Dream brings to life a different side of Vietnam—not just the war (though this should surely be a must-read for anyone wanting to see the different sides of conflict), but also the aftermath of peace. . . .
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
The Leper Colony
The Leper Colony
taken for gravely ill residents. This will be the only correspondence from this office to our
resident’s family concerned. Respectfully.” Having taken ten days by postal mail, it arrived from the village office that oversaw the leper colony where her mother had been an inhabitant for the past three years.
Friday, January 26, 2018
A Mother's Tale
In the evening we sat on the veranda of the inn, the air now cool, and the breeze brought a scent of mud from a canal across the land. Mrs. Rossi reclined in the hammock, her loose shirt untucked, hanging down to her thighs, its whiteness a pale luster in the dark. Chi Lan and I sat in the metal folding chairs, looking toward the road.