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"Dust Child" By Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

On today’s program, novelist Nguyen Phan Que Mai talks with us about her new novel, Dust Child.

Set in Vietnam, 1969, the book follows sisters Trang and Quỳnh. Saddled with their parents’ debts, the daughters leave their village to work at a bar in Sàigòn. Once in the big city, they’re thrown headfirst into a world they don’t recognize. Learning to speak English, how to dress, drink, and flirt with American GIs in return for money. The resulting book is a moving, decades-long family saga.

Nguyen Phan Que Mai is the author of a dozen books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Born during the Vietnam War, she worked as a street seller and rice farmer before winning a scholarship to attend university in Australia. Including her recent novel, The Mountains Sing, her writing has been translated and translated into more than 20 languages. She joined us for her last book in 2021.

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