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Behind the Red Mist: Short Fiction by Ho Anh Thai (Voices from Vietnam) Paperback – September 1, 1998

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Behind the Red Mist: Short Fiction by Ho Anh Thai (Voices from Vietnam) + Crossing the River: Short Fiction by Nguyen Huy Thiep (Voices from Vietnam)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Considered the most important writer of Vietnam's postwar generation, Ho Anh Thai brings an intimate knowledge of the Vietnam War into perspective with a style that is at once whimsical and sharp-sighted. In this first collection to be published in English, we meet characters such as the man who carries his mother's bones in his knapsack in "The Indian." Wherever he goes, the disapproving spirit of his mother seems to watch his actions, and when he extracts the bones from a pond that a lover has thrown them into, his guilt is multiplied upon finding that his mother's finger bones can't be found. In the story "Behind the Red Mist," a young man is magically transported into his own past during the war bombings. He meets his parents before they married and discovers that their generation is actually different from the way in which it had been portrayed to him as a child. Ananda, from "The Man Who Stood on One Leg," swears to pose on one leg, like the god Shiva dancing, until the factory director gives him 1 million rupees to build a temple. The director refuses, but when Ananda dies, the metaphoric temple that was Ananda becomes an emptiness in the town that the director feels compelled to fill. --Susan Swartwout

From Kirkus Reviews

Behind The Red Mist ($13.95 paperback original; Sept.; 245 pp.; 1-880684-54-3): A fine collection of ten stories, all published in the last two decades, by a talented writer who explores postwar life in his native Vietnam with a commanding mixture of brutal realism and symbolist fantasy. Thai's primary subject is the contrast between naive patriotism and the embittered realism of later generations scarred by their country's recent history of prolonged warfare. ``The Chase,'' ``Leaving the Valley,'' and the complex title novella all vigorously explore this theme, and are enriched by their juxtaposition with such unusual companion pieces as a wry homage to E.M. Forster (``The Indian'') and a mischievous satire on bureaucratic greed (``The Goat Meat Special''). A first-rate English-language debut. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Series: Voices from Vietnam (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Curbstone Books; 1st edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880684543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880684542
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christian Liu on June 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
This collection comprises 9 short stories and 1 novella. All are imaginative and most examine the struggles of the postwar generation in Vietnam. There is a Kafkaesque quality to some of the stories and the novella is especially interesting. Worth a read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first story was good. The next one was better. I thought it was impossible, but each successive story is better than the prior one. An enjoyable read. A book that you'll want to share and discuss with others.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Hansen on September 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
The book was in really good condition; it had a used sticker on the cover, but other than that, it's perfect.
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