The Mountains Sing





Forthcoming in German, Swedish, Spanish, Turkish

A New York Times Editors' Choice

Winner of the 2020 Lannan Literary Award Fellowship in Fiction

Winner of BookBrowse's Best Debut Award for 2020

A Best Book of 2020: NPR Book Concierge Washington Independent Review of Books Real Simple * The Buzz Magazine *  NB Magazine * PopMatters * Global Atlanta * Otago Daily Times *  Writer's Bone * SHE READS * Paperback Paris * HUMO newspaper

An Amazon Editors' Pick for Best Literature & Fiction

A Book Riot’s best book for book clubs

A Best Historical Fiction book, voted by Buzzfeed Books and Goodreads

"Quế Mai contains her saga with a poet’s discipline... and uplifts it with a poet’s antenna for beauty in the most desolate circumstances. She evokes the landscape hauntingly, as a site of loss so profound it assumes the quality of fable."—The New York Times Book Review 

"A luminous, complex family narrative ... Quế Mai [has] an astute and graceful ability to sustain contradictory truths about war, displacement, aesthetic representations, and human nature."—NPR

The Mountains Sing is historical fiction at its finest.” SHE READS 

"A terrifying, melancholic and achingly beautiful first novel." South China Morning Post

The Mountains Sing not only portrays clearly the griefs of loss and separation brought about by war, it also praises family love, the value of hope and altruism.” Tuổi Trẻ News in Vietnamese.

“A Vietnamese novel that has moved Western readers.” BBC News in Vietnamese

“A sweeping tale of one family's shifting fortunes...  Invitingly and gracefully told... A richly imagined story of severed bonds amid conflict.” — Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

“[A] lyrical, sweeping debut novel... This brilliant, unsparing love letter to Vietnam will move readers.”— Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Nguyen displays a lush and captivating storyteller’s gift as she effortlessly transports readers to another world, leaving them wishing for more..." — Library Journal Starred Review

"...a comprehensive multigenerational tale... the larger history takes a back seat to family dynamics, demonstrating how different generations weather the burdens of conflict." — The Washington Post

"A Vietnamese poet conjures history and fate in a luminous tale that resonates across generations as one family grapples with the psychic residue of war..."—O, The Oprah Magazine

"A triumph... An epic account of Việt Nam's painful 20th century history, both vast in scope and intimate in its telling... moving and riveting... " —VIET THANH NGUYEN, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer

"A sweeping story that positions Vietnamese life within the rich and luminous history of national epics like The Tale of Kiều and The Iliad. The Mountains Sing is a feat of hope, an unflinchingly felt inquiry into the past, with the courageous storytelling of the present." —OCEAN VUONG, MacArthur Award-winning bestselling author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

"Beautiful... Told with the sureness of a master storyteller with a poet's spirit. A large and complicated story, marvelous to read."—LARRY HEINEMANN, author of the National Book Award-winning Paco's Story

“Reading this novel, I was moved by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s beautiful, even poetic, depictions of enduring courage. I came away with a deeper understanding of the war in which I fought.”—KARL MARLANTES, bestselling author of Matterhorn, What It’s Like to Go to War, and Deep River

“This moving saga has captivated readers with its authenticity and lyrical storytelling.” Boston Public Radio 

"Nguyễn writes of Vietnamese history with such understanding and humanity that one can easily argue for The Mountains Sing’s status as the great Vietnamese novel of our time."— DiaCRITICS 

"Quế Mai's text is embroidered with poetic phrasings... The book is distinctly Vietnamese."— Washington Independent Review of Books

"The Mountains Sing is the missing narrative of the American War in Vietnam."—The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Stunning...filled with vivid characters and evocative depictions of the Vietnamese landscapes, both urban and rural... There’s an important Vietnam War history lesson embedded here, as well, one that is not often available to American readers..."— The Vietnam Veterans of America Book Review 

"One of the most moving, and fundamentally eye-opening, novels I feel I will read in my lifetime."— The Nerd Daily

"A stunning work of historical fiction that lays bare history long forgotten."— Paperback Paris

"Beautiful, heartbreaking and utterly essential... " — Saigoneer Bookshelf

"[A] panoramic epic … this book brings to life a crucial part of Vietnamese history from within. Your heart will not leave this book untouched.” — Lit Hub

"...a beautiful evocation of a lost world." — The Paris Review

"With power and poetry, Nguyễn Phan guided me onto lands and into cultures I had never before experienced. Her fresh imagery reflects a constant dependence on the earth for survival, passed down through generations of farmers." BookBrowse Starred Review

"A mesmerizing, devastating, searing and utterly authentic and deeply human novel. Cannot recommend highly enough!"—LYNN NOVICK, Co-producer of The Vietnam War documentary.