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 Forthcoming in Italian, Dutch, German, Croatian, Swedish, French, Russian...

From the internationally bestselling author of THE MOUNTAINS SING, a suspenseful and moving saga about family secrets, hidden trauma, and the overriding power of forgiveness, set during the war and in present-day Việt Nam. 




"Dazzling. Sharply drawn and hauntingly beautiful."—Elif Shafak, Women's Prize shortlist author of The Island of Missing Trees


"Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai will win many more readers with her powerful and deeply empathetic second novel. From the horrors of war and its enduring after life for men and women, lovers and children, soldiers and civilians, she weaves a heartbreaking tale of lost ideals, human devotion, and hard-won redemption. Dust Child establishes Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai as one of our finest observers of the devastating consequences of war, and proves, once more, her ability to captivate readers and lure them into Viet Nam’s rich and poignant history."—Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer


"Quế Mai shows us the capacity we hold to confront our pasts, for the purpose of life is not to remain intact, but to break open, to let loss be a guide, to face the echoes of longing. In Dust Child, rupture leads to emotional richness and pain creates the pathways worth walking. I truly cannot wait for the rest of the world to celebrate this book."—Chanel Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Know My Name


"Once again, just as she did in her masterful The Mountains Sing, the talented Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai takes us to Vietnam with aching clarity, this time in the years during and after the Vietnam War. With a poet's gift for language and a psychologist's eye for the tender, error-prone hearts of mankind, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai weaves a web of impossible choices, inescapable circumstance, and searing loss, set to the backdrop of a war that changed everything. Illuminating both the Vietnamese and American perspectives before and after the conflict, and laced with complex issues of prejudice, homelessness, and PTSD, Dust Child is both a novel of finding family and of learning to live with ourselves, as well as a powerful reminder that when we go to war, we all lose. A heartbreaking, beautifully told, utterly unique story of love, loss, and longing that speaks to the very heart of the human experience."—Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars


"Scenes of past and present Việt Nam come alive in these pages, drawing you into the lives of a handful of characters who become like your family, and in whose stories lies the heartbreaking story of Việt Nam's complicated relationship with America. With her generous heart and unmatched ability to write across languages and cultures, Quế Mai is the perfect guide for the wounded who search for home and healing." Thi Bui, American Book Award-winning author of The Best We Could Do 


"Well-researched, realistic, and compassionately written, Dust Child brings to life the heartbreaking experiences of young American men and young Vietnamese women who were pulled into the vortex of the Việt Nam War and the tragedy inherited by their Amerasian children. Quế Mai's powerful novel enables us to travel deep into Việt Nam's past and present days so that we can bear witness to the courage of her Amerasian, Vietnamese, and American characters. This eye-opening and fascinating novel is a must-read!"—Le Ly Hayslip, bestselling author of When Heaven and Earth Changed Places and Child of War, Woman of Peace


 "Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is one of the most unique storytellers of our time. She creates plots which are Dickensian in their breadth and mastery, while bravely probing the complex emotional challenges of living in a modern world full of disruption and displacement. In Dust Child, Quế Mai displays the same tenderness and compassion for her characters, hard-earned understanding of human trauma, and poetically evocative language that made her debut novel The Mountains Sing an international bestseller beloved around the world."—Natalie Jenner, internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society and Bloombury Girls


"Once again, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai has written a beautiful novel that shines a light on the history of Vietnam. With a poet's grace, she writes of the legacy of war across time and place and the stories that bind us. Dust Child is simply stunning."—Eric Nguyen, author of Things We Lost To The Water


"The sons and daughters of American soldiers and their Vietnamese girlfriends who exhibited African American and European features were shunned by Việt Nam’s monoethnic society during and after the war. Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai writes of some of these "dust children" and their parents with complexity and heart. This is a powerful and moving story, brilliantly told." —Robert Mason, New York Times bestselling author of Chickenhawk


"Dust Child is a powerful counter-narrative to the Broadway play, Miss Saigon and to the general depictions of Vietnamese women in Hollywood movies. This novel stands out with its complexity and empathy toward Vietnamese and American peoples involved in the Việt Nam War. Most importantly, it portrays Amerasians and Vietnamese women as courageous human beings faced with impossible choices. As in The Mountains Sing, Nguyễn expresses a strong faith in the goodness of a Vietnamese culture and an American culture deeply affected by war. This faith is her gift to us, a source of hope for humanity at large. Once I started reading, I could not put the book down."—Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, author of This Is All I Choose To Tell: History and Hybridity in Vietnamese American Literature, Professor in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University


“In her riveting successor to The Mountains Sing, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai has masterfully captured the toll of war and its aftermath on a black Amerasian, an outcast in the country of his birth, on an American vet, haunted and seeking redemption, and on two Vietnamese sisters, forced by economic hardship into circumstances they could not have foreseen. Nguyễn creates, in her luminous prose, a gripping and nuanced narrative of men and women caught in the web of war and its aftermath.”—Steven DeBonis, author of Children of the Enemy: Oral Histories of Vietnamese Amerasians and Their Mothers


"With great compassion, with a firm conviction in the redeeming power of love and forgiveness, and with the consummate skill of a great story-teller, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai weaves us into the lives, past and present, of those called “the dust of life”—the ostracized, mixed-race children of American soldiers; their mothers, compelled by war into prostitution, and their fathers, the G.I.’s who abandoned them and yet remained haunted by them."—Wayne Karlin, author of Wandering Souls: Journeys with the Dead and the Living in Việt Nam.  


MORE about Dust Child. MORE about The Mountains Sing.