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An Evening with Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

Monday 9th October 2023
18:00 at Waterstones, Birmingham

An Evening with Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

Join us for an amazing evening with internationally bestselling author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, as she discusses ‘Dust Child’, the eagerly awaited new novel from the author of ‘The Mountain Sing’. Moving between the Việt Nam war and the present day, ‘Dust Child’ is a powerful and compelling tale of family secrets and hidden heartache. 
About the Book
Four lives, entwined forever by decisions made in time of conflict. But what happens decades later when they unexpectedly converge once more?
In 1969, sisters Trang and Quỳnh leave their rural village to find work in Sài Gòn, desperate to find work to help their impoverished parents. When they take jobs as hostesses in a bar frequented by American GIs, they have to accept it will mean compromising values they have always held dear. As the fighting moves closer to the city, the elder sister, Trang, begins a romance with an American helicopter pilot. 
Decades later, Phong – a ‘Dust Child’ – the son of a Black American soldier and a Vietnamese woman, abandoned by his mother and rejected all his life, has never given up hope of finding his parents and a new life outside Việt Nam. While Dan, a war veteran still plagued by regrets about his actions all those years ago, has returned with his wife Linda, in the hope of confronting the demons that refuse to fall silent. 
About the Author
Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is an award-winning Vietnamese poet and novelist. Born in the Red Delta of North Việt Nam, she grew up in the Mekong Delta, South Việt Nam. She’s a writer and translator who has published twelve books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction in Vietnamese. Her debut novel and first book in English, ‘The Mountain Sing’, is an international bestseller, a runner-up for the 2021 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and winner of the 2021 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, the 2020 Lannan Literary Award Fellowship, and others, and has been translated into fifteen languages. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and her writing has appeared n various publications including the New York Times.  Quế Mai was named by Forbes Việt Nam as one of twenty inspiring women of 2021. ‘Dust Child’ draws on her many years working as a volunteer helping family members unite and reflects the real-life experiences of Amerasians and their families. 
“Dazzling. Sharply drawn and hauntingly beautiful.” - Elif Shafak
“Another triumph! Powerful and deeply empathetic.. a heart-breaking tale of lost ideals, human devotion, and hard-won redemption.” - Viet Thanh Nguyễn, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘The Sympathizer’
“A skilled storyteller, and her lyrical turn of phrase reflects her character’s backgrounds as well as their emotions...  Quế Mai demonstrates a deep understanding of splintered lives. The compassionate treatment of her characters, insights in to the period and eloquent prose are impressive.” - Financial Times
Birmingham Waterstones, Birmingham
Monday 9th October 2023

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Please note that events can occasionally be cancelled at short notice or their times or dates may alter; we therefore recommend that you check with the shop before travelling.
If you are unable to attend an event we can often reserve signed copies. Please contact the host shop for details. Reserved copies cannot be guaranteed and may not always carry dedications.
All signings (unless otherwise stated) operate on a first come first served basis, so early arrival is often recommended.

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