In January 2009, her latest novel, Đỉnh Cao Chói Lọi, was published; it was also translated into French as Au zénith. Hung and Suong must abandon individual dreams such as love, hope for a secure future, and the ability to use exceptional talent. From Vietnam's most acclaimed writer and dissident, Duong Thu Huong, comes a novel set during and after the Vietnam War. The menial jobs he obtains do not stimulate him. After the war, however, Hung is forced from his job, setting off a wrenching series of events. No longer in a position which will utilize his creativity, Hung is not sure what to do with himself.
Suong is a celebrated singer in central Vietnam -- she is called the ''Edith Piaf of Indochina'' -- who, during the war with America, is discovered by Hung, a talented composer from Hanoi who is 10 years her senior. Efforts to unite and reeducate the population needed to be deliberate or the young country could face failure. The decrepit theatre that Suong is forced to sing in does not coincide with the promises made during the war. Immediately he is arrested and accused of desertion which leads to expulsion from the Communist Party and political exile. In a communist society such as Vietnam, art is owned by the state and expected to behave within its propaganda obligation. Hung has lost his job, his motivation, his ability to work and support his family, the respect of his children, and his health.
While traveling, Hung happens upon a young woman singing a beautiful song in the country side. . The Second Indochina War left the Vietnamese landscape and people devastated through deaths of over three million and thousands others crippled by artillery and chemical substances. In fact, most readers might even identify those same dreams in their own lives. As Memories of a Pure Spring, itself a piece of art, is banned, the government is leaving Duong unable to fully express her creativity forcing her into exile.
Well written and compelling, my only complaint is that the time frame and viewpoint jumped around without warning. It is one of my best friend's favorite books, which she read in Vietnamese. As they read the paper they are forced to cognitively reconcile the name of the war as they know it with the name of the war as the characters know it. This idea was disseminated largely to rally citizens to support the American War effort. But after the war, Hung loses his job, setting off a series of events that drive him and Suong into a destructive spiral. Othertranslations I had read of other pieces presented her style as direct and unabashed, revealing the worst and best of her chara I have read other works by Duong Thu Huong, and those works inspired me to pick up this novel.
New York: Hyperion Books, 2000. However, Hung and Suong do not find such economic freedom. Shortly after the war ends, Hung loses his high-respected job in the community, lands in custody and starts to self-medicate. Born in 1947 in Thai Binh a province in northern Vietnam, Dương came of age just as the Vietnam War was turning violent. The book as fictional art also displays the attack on artists by the government. The end of the war certainly brings change, but not the change Hung and Suong anticipated. Her latest work is a deeply autobiographical novel of passion and intensity, rendered in haunting and lyrical prose.
Memories of a Pure Spring tells the story of a singer and her composer husband and explores their relationship's passionate in the midst of war -- and tragic end in its aftermath. Throughout the war, North Vietnamese citizens were promised economic and social freedoms upon the successful defeat of the South Vietnamese government. Censorship can take many forms, but for the sake of this paper, the use of words and art to convey ideologies and, thus, their censorship is discussed. Dương moved to Paris in 2006. Yet throughout Memories of a Pure Spring, readers are challenged to consider the truth of that ideology. Dương spent the next seven years of the war in the jungles and tunnels of Binh Tri Thien, the most heavily bombarded region of the war. I am actually going to investigate this when I get a chance.
About Memories of a Pure Spring Memories of a Pure Spring is a mesmerizing portrait of modern Vietnam and its people who struggle to survive under the complexities of a post-war regime. But after the war, Hung loses his job, setting off a series of events that drive him and Suong into a destructive spiral. It is Huong's most commercial and engaging vel which deals with the aftermath of the war and how the ordinary Vietnamese people caught up in the conflict can readapt to their everyday lives and loves. Suong is only marginally justified in her suicide attempt and her extra-marital affair. I have read other works by Duong Thu Huong, and those works inspired me to pick up this novel. She entrusts the parenting of her children to her neighbor in order to spend more time working.
It doesn't feel right to judge it in this forum. The two become a team, entertaining the troops with Suong singing Hung's compositions. It touched me very deeply, especially the water imagery and the recognition of the void as central to the story. I was not aware of the postwar situation of the boat people and what happened if they were caught. Duong expresses deep anger in this book.