The Zenith by Duong Thu Huong

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The Zenith, lyrically translated by husband-wife translators Stephen B. Young and Hoa Pham Young, is part modern Vietnamese fable, part tragedy.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

A major new novel from the most important Vietnamese author writing today

Duong Thu Huong has won acclaim for her exceptional lyricism and psychological acumen, as well as for her unflinching portraits of modern Vietnam and its culture and people. In this monumental new novel she offers an intimate, imagined account of the final months in the life of President Ho Chi Minh at an isolated mountaintop compound where he is imprisoned both physically and emotionally, weaving his story in with those of his wife’s brother-in-law, an elder in a small village town, and a close friend and political ally, to explore how we reconcile the struggles of the human heart with the external world.

These narratives portray the thirst for absolute power, both political and otherwise, and the tragic consequences on family, community, and nationhood that can occur when jealousy is coupled with greed or mixed with a lust for power. The Zenith illuminates and captures the moral conscience of Vietnamese leaders in the 1950s and 1960s as no other book ever has, as well as bringing out the souls of ordinary Vietnamese living through those tumultuous times.

 

About Duong Thu Huong

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DUONG THU HUONG is an award-winning Vietnamese novelist and activist. In 1993 her novel Paradise of the Blind became the first Vietnamese novel to be translated into English. She lives in exile in Paris. STEPHEN B. YOUNG is the author of The Tradition of Human Rights in China and Vietnam and has written widely in Vietnamese for the overseas Vietnamese community. HOA PHAM YOUNG was an English interpreter for the U.S. Department of State in Vietnam. They live in St. Paul, Minnesota.
 
Published August 16, 2012 by Penguin Books. 525 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Toronto Star

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Reviewed by Jason Beerman on Sep 01 2012

The Zenith, lyrically translated by husband-wife translators Stephen B. Young and Hoa Pham Young, is part modern Vietnamese fable, part tragedy.

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