Edited by : by Quan Manh Ha Translatedby Joseph Babcock
When I started reading this, I wanted to make a good effort in the writing of the review because of the gravity of the content. I also found out a lot about America’s war in Vietnam, most of which were news to me. There is so much nuance to America’s role in the country, both during and after the war(s). Who better to tell it to the ignorant(like me) than people who were part of it or bear the brunt of it in some way.
Before we get to the stories, the editor has provided an in-depth explanation to give us the context of what we are about to read. Each short story is, in turn, preceded by an individual summary of the author and their background. Some stories were deeper than others, some I did not ‘get’ as easily as others. I wanted to individually describe the titles but realised that it was a futile exercise. The editor already does that in the introduction, and my iteration of it in the review would be superfluous.
I found my way through a completely different time and culture, with all the different shades that that entails. It was a fascinating experience. The reference to the moon itself was more prominent in some and not as much in others.
Overall, I would highly recommend this for a mixed bag of varying stories written by Vietnamese authors, translated well enough to give the reader an authentic feel for the narration.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.