"[A] fine story of searching for one's genealogy with many mystery elements...an enjoyable read."—Midwest Book Review: The Fiction Shelf
"There's a new war on, and little learning from the old wars, particularly the American war in Viet Nam, the long war whose consequences we can't seem to shake off. Through the points-of-view of veterans—their side and ours—and one of their offspring, a "child of the dust," Wayne Karlin revisits Viet Nam. The reader of Marble Mountain goes on a journey of understanding and possible forgiveness. A vital book."
—Maxine Hong Kingston
"Readers familiar with Karlin will be delighted to return to the lives of Alex and Louise Hallam and their feisty half-Vietnamese, half-Black, almost-All-American adopted daughter Kiet. Readers new to Karlin will be drawn in by Nguyen Binh Duong, Le Thanh Thuy, and Sergeant Swan. Once again, Karlin demonstrates his wonderful ability to stitch together disparate worlds into a seamless whole. Once again, Karlin demonstrates that he is one heck of a good storyteller."
—W. D. Ehrhart
Marble Mountain reads like a detective story as the protagonist, Kiet Hallam, an adopted daughter of African American and Vietnamese descent, searches for her true identity. Set in both America and Vietnam, and written from the perspective of both Americans and Vietnamese affected by the war, Marble Mountain explores the lasting damages of war to the soldiers who fought on both sides, to their families, and to the displaced and wounded children born during their parents’ conflict.
Kiet and her adoptive father, Alex Hallam—a Vietnam veteran working out his own tormented past through his passion for sculpting—travel to Vietnam. There, at Marble Mountain, a formation near Danang that is famous for its stone carvers and cave shrines, both will find the unresolved secrets of the past that connected them to each other even before Kiet was born.