No Man's Land

No Man's Land

by Dương Thu Hương

Now in paperback, a mesmerizing novel about a tragic love triangle between three characters whose destinies have been inextricably linked by war, from Vietnam's acclaimed writer and famous dissidentNo Man's Land is set in a hamlet in the countryside of central Vietnam immediately following the end of the war in 1975.

This tragic twist of fate gives the novel a powerful narrative drive that makes it Huong's most accomplished work to date.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.82
  • Pages: 460
  • Publish Date: June 13th 2006 by Hachette Books
  • Isbn10: 0786888571
  • Isbn13: 9780786888573

What People Think about "No Man's Land"

La historia de 'La tierra de los olvidos' se desarrolla a principios de los años ochenta del siglo pasado, en un pequeño pueblo de montaña. Mientras vuelve del bosque en compañía de un grupo de mujeres, Miên descubre con sorpresa como los habitantes del pueblo se agolpan en la puerta de su casa; la preciosa casa que comparte con su segundo marido, Hoan y el hijo de ambos, Hanh. Una vez en el interior, descubre con horror que su primer marido Bon, dado por muerto en la guerra, ha vuelto con la intención de retomar su vida anterior. Prisioneros de la historia política y de sus heridas, los tres encarnan la dolorosa existencia del pueblo vietnamita a lo largo del siglo XX: los traumatismos de la guerra; el peso de la comunidad, de las imposiciones sociales y gubernamentales; el cumplimiento de las costumbres ancestrales...

Well for one, it probably would never arise and the choice would be clear, but in this case, the war, family expectations and the culture itself made the choice for her. Loved reading about the culture and in fact am now reading another book by this author Paradise of the Blind.

I think, maybe, this book was hard to relate to due to cultural differences. The Mien at the end annoyed me- maybe I'm cold hearted but I don't see why she looked back and pitied Bon. Even his best friend a said if he had returned all these years late and found his wife happily married with a son, he would have let her be. When he finally accepts Hoan and Mien's offer, what does he do? Mien returns to Hoan and they have another son together. Because THAT is what I call a happy ending. She made the choice to return to Bon in a day's time.

(Elsewhere in No Mans Land, which, believe it or not, is a painstakingly realistic novel, a ghost shows up to taunt his killer, and the moon gets away with tempting a man to abandon his disabled wife.) On page 1, though, its raining, a strange, violent storm, icy water and hot vapor, everything dissolved and merged in the flood. What has the storm clouds so worked up in the beginning is a premise straight from the second half of that Tom Hanks flick Cast Away: Mien, happily remarried to a wealthy farmer with whom she has a son, returns one day from gathering honey to find that Husband No. 1, a soldier missing for 14 years, has marched back into town.

Terre des oublis, de Dng Thu Hng, est un livre que l'on termine en se sentant vidé, soulagé, tant les pages défilent, nous emportant toujours plus au coeur des tourments des protagonistes qui les habitent. C'est dans un environnement riche en couleurs, en senteurs, que Miên, l'un des personnages principaux de l'intrigue, va voir sa vie changée au retour d'une excursion en forêt. Elle découvrira alors avec stupéfaction que Bon, l'homme qu'elle a épousé étant plus jeune, est de retour après 14 ans d'absence.

However, I thought he was a good character and his relationship with Mien is great and one that I was rooting for throughout.

The stories, songs and overall culture of war-generation Vietnamese (on either side) are overwhelmingly about great sacrifice and great suffering, and this book follows the trend.

Mais il n'est jamais revenu et elle a refait sa vie avec Hoan, riche commerçant, l'amour inconditionnel de sa vie.

At the age of twenty, when she was a student at Vietnamese Ministry of Cultures Arts College, Dng Thu Hng volunteered to serve in a womens youth brigade on the front lines of The War Against the Americans". She was also at the front during Chinas attacks on Vietnam in 1979 during the short-lived Sino-Vietnamese War. However, in the period after Vietnams reunification in 1975, Dng became increasingly outspoken and critical about the repressive atmosphere created by the Communist government.