Light of the Capital (Oxford in Asia Paperbacks)

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9789676530936: Light of the Capital (Oxford in Asia Paperbacks)
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Set in the colonial era of Vietnam amid rapid urban transformation, this book offers in translation three seminal works that represent the first fine flowering of Vietnamese non-fiction writing.
"I Pulled a Rickshaw," Tam Lang's startling reportage written in 1932 after the onset of the Great Depression, is the first of its kind to depict people from the new underclasses that had formed in early modern Hanoi. Also set in Hanoi is Vu Trong Phung's 1936 narrative dispatch, "Household Servants," which offers a vivid but dark portrayal of the lives of the urban poor who had come from the countryside to the city looking for work as domestics, wet-nurses, and coolies (laborers or porters). Nguyen Hong's "Days of Childhood," generally regarded as the first modern Vietnamese autobiography, is placed in the northern provincial town of Nam Dinh in the period 1928-31. Published in Hanoi in 1938, it tells the haunting story of the disintegration of a feudal family under modern stress.
Stark, searing, and socially aware, these three Vietnamese classics are invaluable for their inside views of an era increasingly forgotten in the tumultuous, post-1939 decades of war and revolution, and for the indigenous perspective they provide on Hanoi's development today.

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About the Author:


About the Translators:
Greg Lockhart is a Research Fellow at the Australian National University. Monique Lockhard is a Research Assistant and translator.

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