RESCHEDULED: Reading, Q&A, and book signing with Thuận, author of Chinatown
07 February 2023, 5:15 pm–6:45 pm
A reading, Q&A, and book signing with author Thuận and publisher Tilted Axis Press, to mark the publication of the English translation of Chinatown, translated from the Vietnamese by Nguyễn An Lý.
This event is free.
Dr Jennifer Rushworth
Please join us for a reading, Q&A, and book signing with author Thuận and publisher Tilted Axis Press, to mark the publication of the English translation of Chinatown, translated from the Vietnamese by Nguyễn An Lý.
The event will be moderated by second-year SELCS student Ann Nguyen (BA Language and Culture) and is organised in collaboration with UCL’s Comparative Literature programmes.
Please register to attend at https://thuan-chinatown.eventbrite.co.uk
Winner of an English Pen Award
An unfinished love story, humorous and haunting, of diasporic lives in Vietnam and France.
The Métro shudders to a halt: an unattended bag has been found. For the narrator, a Vietnamese woman teaching in the Parisian suburbs, a fantastical interior monologue begins, looking back to her childhood in early '80s Hanoi, university studies in Leningrad, and the travails and ironies of life in France as an immigrant and single mother.
But most of all she thinks of Chinese-Vietnamese Thụy, who she married in the aftermath of the Sino-Vietnamese war, much to her parents’ disapproval, and whom she has not seen now for eleven years. The mystery around his disappearance feeds her memories, dreams and speculations, in which the idea of Saigon’s Chinatown looms large. There’s even a novel-in-progress, titled I’m Yellow, whose protagonist’s attempts to escape his circumstances mirror the author-narrator’s own.
Interspersed with extracts from I’m Yellow, the narrator’s book-length monologue is an attempt, at once desperate, ironic, and self-deprecating, to come to terms with the passions that haunt her.
“Chinatown is a fever dream, a hallucination, a loop in time and life that Thuân masterfully deploys to capture the disorienting and debilitating effects of migration, racism, and a broken heart in both Vietnam and France. I was completely immersed in this spellbinding novel.” — Viet Thanh Nguyen.
"...An unfinished love story, a virtuosic stream-of-consciousness mapping of the afterlives of diaspora"- The New Yorker
"'Chinatown' is an astonishing work of sharp wit and profound tragedy that refuses to be flattened into a single representation..." - TLS