As Vietnam was caught in wartime narrative austerity from the 1950s to the 1970s, followed by the communist state’s intolerance of dissent, Vietnamese writers in the French and American diaspora have offered literary texts that challenge both Vietnamese discursive stricture and dominant perspectives in France and the United States. This essay studies two novel sequences from the diasporic Vietnamese literary archive: Vietnamese French author Ly Thu Ho’s trilogy and Vietnamese American writer Lan Cao’s pair of historical novels. Taking a historicist approach, the essay reveals complex nationalist expressions, aspirations, challenges, and desires in Ly Thu Ho’s and Lan Cao’s works of fiction.
Diasporic South Vietnam: Literary Nationalisms in Novels by Ly Thu Ho and Lan Cao
Hao Jun Tam holds a PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania. This article comes from his current book project Rewriting Vietnam: Forms of Nationhood in Diasporic Literature. Another essay from this project has appeared in American Literature.
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Hao Jun Tam; Diasporic South Vietnam: Literary Nationalisms in Novels by Ly Thu Ho and Lan Cao. Journal of Vietnamese Studies 29 May 2020; 15 (2): 40–86. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/vs.2020.15.2.40
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