Love and Honour and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice by Nam Le


nam_le

Among the assorted boomerangs and dingo action figures and kangaroo keychains I got in Australia on a recent trip, by far my favorite souvenir was a book. The Boat by Nam Le. He’s an Aussie Vietnamese short story writer, and beloved by pretty much all book reviewers including the NYT Book Review. The genius in his writing lies in the perspectives Nam writes from: 14-year old hitman in Columbia, teen footy player in Australia, white female Oregonian visiting Tehran, and Vietnamese Australian writer in Iowa. The last perspective is of course, his own, from the first story in the collection: Love and Honour and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice. It is a self-referencial short story about a writer dealing with writers’ block, his visiting father from Australia, an interracial relationship and the decision to write a “Vietnamese immigrant story”. Its one of the best short stories I’ve ever read this side of Carver, Chekhov and Murakami. Well, actually, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But you don’t have to take my word for it…

Link to the full short story: Love and Honour and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice

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