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Paradise of the Blind: A novel por Duong Thu…
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Paradise of the Blind: A novel (original 1988; edição 1994)

por Duong Thu Huong

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaDiscussões / Menções
4511242,589 (3.7)1 / 73
Paradise of the Blind is an exquisite portrait of three Vietnamese women struggling to survive in a society where subservience to men is expected and Communist corruption crushes every dream. Through the eyes of Hang, a young woman in her twenties who has grown up amidst the slums and intermittent beauty of Hanoi, we come to know the tragedy of her family as land reform rips apart their village. When her uncle Chinh's political loyalties replace family devotion, Hang is torn between her mother's appalling self-sacrifice and the bitterness of her aunt who can avenge but not forgive. Only by freeing herself from the past will Hang be able to find dignity -- and a future.… (mais)
Membro:BgGirl
Título:Paradise of the Blind: A novel
Autores:Duong Thu Huong
Informação:Penguin (Non-Classics) (1994), Paperback, 272 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:box 9

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Paradise of the Blind: A Novel por Dương Thu Hương (1988)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I thought this was going to be really good. It was the first novel translated from Vietnamese to English even though it was only published in 1988. That says a huge amount about many things, most of it supposition.

The plot follows the life of Hang, a young woman, in a series of flashbacks and contemporary reflections. We follow her as she studies in Moscow and visiting her ageing uncle there.

As she grows, she discovers what has caused the tensions between her, her mother, her aunt and her uncle, and she fights to keep in play multiple loyalties.

Her childhood has been difficult with an absent father and a mother who has sacrificed everything for her. There’s a whole ton of emotional baggage buried beneath the surface, as you’d expect from Vietnam in the 1980s, but while I really wanted an insight into Vietnamese culture and particularly the political issues, I didn’t really get it in the form I was expecting.

I guess I was after docudrama and what I got was the story of one family from the point of view of a active critic of the Communist government.

The fact that Vietnam has banned the book for its political stance surprises me on the one hand because it doesn’t have outright criticism in its pages. But when you’ve lived all your life serving a Communist leadership, you learn, I suppose, to make your case with more subtlety.

This makes the criticism harder to spot in a novel that places what we’re having for dinner and a description of a moonlit night on the same par as what the local communist cadre is up to.

And maybe that’s the point, that the Party isn’t front and centre, that daily life is more important than political ideology. If so, the novel works a charm.

The storytelling is very fragmented and the characters aren’t developed too much. While this may be frustrating for western readers, it definitely romanticises the beauty of Vietnam and cultural essentials like its food and so, for Vietnamese, I can see how would strike a very melodic chord. ( )
  arukiyomi | Oct 11, 2020 |
Die junge Vietnamesin Hàng arbeitet 1988 in UdSSR. Das Buch setzt ein, als sie ein Telegramm von ihrem Onkel Chinh erhält, dass sie sofort nach Moskau kommen soll, wo er lebt und erkrankt ist. Obwohl Hàng selbst schwach und nicht gesund ist, macht sie sich auf die Zugfahrt und denkt über ihre Kindheit und Jugend nach. Hàngs Leben war ein Hin und Her der Pflichterfüllung. Denn bereits ihr Vater wurde in der „Agrarreform“ als “Grundbesitzer“ verfolgt, wo der Onkle Chinh einer der Hauprotagonisten war. Später dann ist es vor allem die Schwester des Vaters, Tante Thâm, die Hàng immer wieder Gutes tut. Hàngs Mutter hingegen hält zu ihrem Bruder und unterstützt ihn, wo sie kann.
Das Ende der Geschichte ist, dass Hàng entschließt, ihren eigenen Weg zu gehen und sich aus der familiären Verstrickung zu lösen.
Mir war Vietnam von dieser Seite bisher unbekannt. Ich wusste bisher viel zu wenig über dieses Land, dass Vietnam menschenrechtsmäßig als bedenklich gilt, war mir bisher gar nicht klar. ( )
  Wassilissa | Jan 26, 2020 |
Growing up in Vietnam during the communist 70s and 80s, young Hang is used to hardships. Her cadre maternal uncle has her father's family classified as landlords (for owning a small paddy). Her father is sent away. Hang is raised alone, by her mother with her paternal aunt's help. Her paternal Aunt Tam can never forgive Hang's father for sending her brother away, most likely to his death. Tam can barely tolerate how Hang's mother continually helps her brother, despite the fact that he ruined her own family's lives. She feeds his kids when he is struggling, even though Hang then suffers lack of food. She sells the inheritance jewelry Tam gave for Hang. Her brother even says her work as a maker and vendor of vermicelli means she is not a real proper peasant.

Hang manages to get to college, but then needs to drop out to help her mother. In this novel we hear many stories of the typical Vietnamese and how they struggle through this time period of uncertainty. ( )
  Dreesie | Jun 11, 2018 |
Fra innsiden av det vitnamesiske samfunnet med en forfatter fra kommunistbevegelsen. Et samfunn i endring fra psykiatri-kommunismen med de latterligste figurer i partiledelsen og hovedpersonen har familie der og i gammel rikmannsklasse. Sovjet besøkes og markedsøkonomien slår siden sakte igjennom i Vietnam. Hovedfortellingen er med mor og datter og tante - fars søster som hele tiden sørger over sin tapte bror og legger all sin kjærlighet på at niesen skal lykkes.
  lestrond | Dec 4, 2015 |
This book, written by a Vietnamese Woman and translated to English by Phan Huy Duong and Nina McPerson, is set in Vietnam and Russia after the Vietnam War with the U.S. and tells the story of Hang, her mother and her paternal aunt and through them tells the story of Vietnam after the war and the emergence of communism. This story starts in Russia where Hang is working as an exported worker in a textile plant and is told in a series of flashbacks in Hangs life. We see Hang as a young girl with her single parent mother wondering about her father. She meets her paternal aunt. Later she meets her maternal uncle and his family. Hang's mother is at first devoted to her daughter but then becomes devoted to her brother's children and spends all she has in her life for them. At the same time, the paternal aunt devotes all her life to becoming rich and pursuing her hatred of Hang's uncle. If it wasn't for this paternal aunt, Hang would have nothing. I really liked the writing (or translated) writing. It was easy to read, yet very descriptive of the land and culture. I liked learning about Vietnam through this women's writing. She wrote under communism. She was also an active member of the communist party but wrote under a liberation of the writer. A freedom to write about the country rather than political claptrap. I have read other books about communism and books of communism in Asian culture and I just don't get it. It seems so absurd. I can only think that things must have been so bad to allow people to make such crazy political decisions that seem so harmful. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in reading women authors of different languages and cultures. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 9, 2015 |
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Paradise of the Blind is an exquisite portrait of three Vietnamese women struggling to survive in a society where subservience to men is expected and Communist corruption crushes every dream. Through the eyes of Hang, a young woman in her twenties who has grown up amidst the slums and intermittent beauty of Hanoi, we come to know the tragedy of her family as land reform rips apart their village. When her uncle Chinh's political loyalties replace family devotion, Hang is torn between her mother's appalling self-sacrifice and the bitterness of her aunt who can avenge but not forgive. Only by freeing herself from the past will Hang be able to find dignity -- and a future.

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