Bao Ninh, a former North Vietnamese soldier, provides a strikingly honest look at how the Vietnam War forever changed his life, his country, and the people who. 18 Nov Fifteen years after Bao Ninh’s admired war novel, he explains his When it was first published 15 years ago, Ninh’s novel, The Sorrow of War. The daring and controversial novel that took the world by storm– a story of politics, selfhood, survival, and war. Featured in The Vietnam War by Ken.

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For many years, he said, he was supported by his wife, who is a schoolteacher. Throughout the book, Kien also reflects on the many unacknowledged sacrifices, such as Hoa giving up her life to save Kien and his comrades from American soldiers, and acts of immorality and desecration, such as the objectification and treatment of a dead woman in the airport, that he experienced in the war.

Vietnam had seen its share of war memoirs, but no novelist had dared to write about the brutality of the war, and the lasting damage it inflicted on a generation of Vietnamese.

And so on and on, frantically writing, Kien refights all his battles, relives the times where his life was bitter, lonely, surreal, and full of obstacles and horrendous mistakes. Jul 31, Andrew added it Shelves: It all seemed too obvious.

I felt the ending was stronger than the rest of the novel. He could feel happy that his soul would find solace in the fountain of sentiments from his youth.

Why Vietnam’s best-known author has stayed silent | World news | The Guardian

Ninh’s main character, a thinly disguised portrait of the author as a young man, enlists in the army at age 17, leaving behind his childhood sweetheart. The Future Lied To Us A reminiscence, rather than a memoir, tumbling between the time before war, eleven years of brutal fighting, and then its aftermath.


Why I want to Read it. May 28, Inderjit Sanghera rated it it was amazing.

A decade after the fighting is over, he passes his days in drunkenness and depression – permanently damaged by the war. Nearly 2, copies of the book were printed in Vietnam, but many more were photocopied and sold in sidewalk book stalls. Rather than rely on linear nattive, This was my first time reading anything from the vast oeuvre of Vietnamese literature, so I can’t compare it to a canon Bao was probably inspired by.

Of the five hundred who went to war with the brigade inhe is one of sorroa ten who… More about Bao Ninh.

The Sorrow of War

I kept holding myself back,’ Ninh told The Observer in a rare interview sorroa his home in a section of central Hanoi favoured by middle-ranking officials. But the international attention also brought increased scrutiny from the authorities.

It was published in under the title The Sorrow of War. Oct 05, Will Byrnes rated it really liked it.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. For its historical value, perhaps, the novel has merit. Only by writing about them can he exorcise their power. Jul 02, Ben Jaques-Leslie rated it it was amazing. But the psychological scars of the war will remain forever.

View all 4 comments. The bo A rare insight into the mind of a North Vietnam soldier.

Although the novel was reissued in Vietnamese last year, it has yet to be published under its original title. Read it Forward Read it first. In the parks the flowers began blooming and migratory birds began returning to nest under the eaves of the buildings. His post-war work of travelling the nation attempting to th the remains of the thousands of unmarked dead so that their families could get closure keeps him close to the ghosts of those who had passed.


The long silence from one of Vietnam’s best-known authors is telling of the enduring sensitivities about the war with America. Kien, a lone survivor from the Glorious 27th Youth brigade of the Vietcong, revisits the haunting sites of battles and relives a parade of horrors, as he grapples with his ghosts, his alcoholism and attempts to arrange his life in writing. Kien’s world lacks emotion and feelings. This is a book that every veteran who saw combat in Vietnam should read.

In fact, my view of just about everything I thought I knew about North Vietnam from the mid’s to the mid’s was altered by this book. Views Read Edit View history. The protagonist is a survivor – most of his comrades so not make it through the war, and his life after the war is profoundly affected. It helps to e As the title makes clear, this is not a book you can read without some real emotional work; Bao Ninh, pen name of a North Vietnamese veteran, barely mentions the invading Americans, except in a few searing passages that come through with a cinematic calm and vividness.