I had the simultaneously good and bad fortune to discover Boa Ninh’s novel, The Sorrow of War while in Vietnam recently. Bao Ninh was a soldier in the North Vietnamese army and was present at the fall of Siagon in 1975. I say simultaneously good and bad because the novel is brilliant. moving, amazing. It is also so devastating to read that it might take you a day or two to recover.
Unfortunately, the fate of the interesting glut of writers to emerge from Vietnam roughly 15 years ago and who were starting to tell the story of modern Vietnam is not a great one so far.