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Monkey Bridge

by

Monkey Bridge Cover

ISBN13: 9780140263619
ISBN10: 0140263616
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An extraordinary debut novel that explores the mysterious terrain of the Vietnamese American experience

Hailed by critics and writers as powerful, important fiction, Monkey Bridge charts the unmapped territory of the Vietnamese American experience in the aftermath of war. Like navigating a monkey bridge — a bridge, built of spindly bamboo, used by peasants for centuries — the narrative traverses perilously between worlds past and present, East and West, in telling two interlocking stories: one, the Vietnamese version of the classic immigrant experience in America, told by a young girl; and the second, a dark tale of betrayal, political intrigue, family secrets, and revenge — her mother's tale. The haunting and beautiful terrain of Monkey Bridge is the "luminous motion", as it is called in Vietnamese myth and legend, between generations, encompassing Vietnamese lore, history, and dreams of the past as well as of the future. "With incredible lightness, balance and elegance", writes Isabel Allende, "(Lan Cao crosses) over an abyss of pain, loss, separation and exile, connecting on one level the opposite realities of Vietnam and North America, and on a deeper level the realities of the material world and the world of the spirits".

"Ms. Cao has not only made a impressive debut, but also joined writers like Salman Rushdie and Bharati Mukherjee in mapping the state of exile and its elusive geography of loss and hope". — Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Western readers are fortunate to have Cao contribute to the modest body of work that goes beyond wartime and reaches for Vietnam's lush heart". — Chicago Tribune

Synopsis:

A lyrical novel of love and betrayal in the aftermath of the fall of Saigon—from the author of Monkey Bridge

A singular work of witness, inspiration, and courage, The Lotus and the Storm marks the welcome return of Lan Caos pitch-perfect voice, telling the story only she can tell.

Four decades after the war, Vietnams flavors of clove and cinnamon have been re-created by a close-knit refugee community in a Virginia suburb. But the lives of Minh and Mai, father and daughter, are haunted by ghosts, secrets, and the loss of their country. During the disastrous last days in Saigon, in a whirl of military signals and helicopter evacuations, Mai never had a chance to say goodbye to so many people who meant so much to her. What happened to them? How will Mai cope with the trauma of war—and will the thay phap, a Vietnamese spirit exorcist, be able to heal her?

Synopsis:

Hailed by critics and writers as powerful, important fiction, Monkey Bridge charts the unmapped territory of the Vietnamese American experience in the aftermath of war. Like navigating a monkey bridge?a bridge, built of spindly bamboo, used by peasants for centuries?the narrative traverses perilously between worlds past and present, East and West, in telling two interlocking stories: one, the Vietnamese version of the classic immigrant experience in America, told by a young girl; and the second, a dark tale of betrayal, political intrigue, family secrets, and revenge?her mother?s tale. The haunting and beautiful terrain of Monkey Bridge is the "luminous motion," as it is called in Vietnamese myth and legend, between generations, encompassing Vietnamese lore, history, and dreams of the past as well as of the future. "With incredible lightness, balance and elegance," writes Isabel Allende, "ALan Cao crosses? over an abyss of pain, loss, separation and exile, connecting on one level the opposite realities of Vietnam and North America, and on a deeper level the realities of the material world and the world of the spirits."

  • Quality Paperback Book Club Selection and New Voices Award nominee

  • A Philadelphia Inquirer Best of the Rest of Summer 1997 pick

  • A Kiriyama Pacific Rim Award Book Prize nominee

About the Author

Lan Cao is a professor of international law at Brooklyn Law School and resides in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Shoshana, June 17, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
An uneven first novel that is by turns compelling and awkward, Monkey Bridge might best be appreciated as a compendium of the ways that post-traumatic stress disorder is experienced and enacted. The voice of the protagonist, a teen who fled Vietnam just before the fall of Saigon, is believable. Since the novel has been described as semi-autobiographical, I would expect this to be the case. The mother's voice in the novel's real time also works; her poetic, literary voice as depicted in her writings rings false, and not just for reasons that make sense within the narrative. Unfortunately, this voice keeps sliding into what reads like an imitation of the mother in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club. Still, if these awkward passages can be put aside, the novel does an excellent job of depicting the immigrant/refugee experience from a young adult's perspective, the tensions that arise almost immediately between generations of immigrants, and the forces that seem to compel the romantic reconstruction of one's country of origin.
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
nat18, January 2, 2007 (view all comments by nat18)
Wow, I can't believe there's only one post on this outstanding work of written art; Monkey Bridge. It's funny, I grabbed this book from the school library just because I needed a book to get book points for the day (I'm a junior in highschool), and I really never planned on reading it. Man, am I glad I did!

While the main conflict is the classic tradition v. progressive, Mai, the narrator, being the young, mainly American-raised child, and her mother representing the old karmic-traditional Vietnam. Monkey Bridge also tells of something many people probably never saw, a.k.a the Vietnam vet-Vietnam immigrant connection that is formed because of the desire by pretty much everyone in both countries trying to forget that awful war.

Lan Cao's novel, in many places, reads like poetry (it even starts with T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land) and I plan on writing a song with some of the lines from her book; of course, giving credit.

Monkey Bridge was an intense, sorrowful, and enlightening journey and I look forward to reading more of Cao's work.

Definitely pick this one up.


Oh, and to the first poster,DJIZZZLEBIZZLEF, seriously, grow up before posting again.
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(17 of 20 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780140263619
Author:
Cao, Lan
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Vietnamese Americans
Subject:
Bildungsromane.
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series Volume:
vol. 3
Publication Date:
19980631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Monkey Bridge Used Trade Paper
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$4.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140263619 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A lyrical novel of love and betrayal in the aftermath of the fall of Saigon—from the author of Monkey Bridge

A singular work of witness, inspiration, and courage, The Lotus and the Storm marks the welcome return of Lan Caos pitch-perfect voice, telling the story only she can tell.

Four decades after the war, Vietnams flavors of clove and cinnamon have been re-created by a close-knit refugee community in a Virginia suburb. But the lives of Minh and Mai, father and daughter, are haunted by ghosts, secrets, and the loss of their country. During the disastrous last days in Saigon, in a whirl of military signals and helicopter evacuations, Mai never had a chance to say goodbye to so many people who meant so much to her. What happened to them? How will Mai cope with the trauma of war—and will the thay phap, a Vietnamese spirit exorcist, be able to heal her?

"Synopsis" by ,
Hailed by critics and writers as powerful, important fiction, Monkey Bridge charts the unmapped territory of the Vietnamese American experience in the aftermath of war. Like navigating a monkey bridge?a bridge, built of spindly bamboo, used by peasants for centuries?the narrative traverses perilously between worlds past and present, East and West, in telling two interlocking stories: one, the Vietnamese version of the classic immigrant experience in America, told by a young girl; and the second, a dark tale of betrayal, political intrigue, family secrets, and revenge?her mother?s tale. The haunting and beautiful terrain of Monkey Bridge is the "luminous motion," as it is called in Vietnamese myth and legend, between generations, encompassing Vietnamese lore, history, and dreams of the past as well as of the future. "With incredible lightness, balance and elegance," writes Isabel Allende, "ALan Cao crosses? over an abyss of pain, loss, separation and exile, connecting on one level the opposite realities of Vietnam and North America, and on a deeper level the realities of the material world and the world of the spirits."

  • Quality Paperback Book Club Selection and New Voices Award nominee

  • A Philadelphia Inquirer Best of the Rest of Summer 1997 pick

  • A Kiriyama Pacific Rim Award Book Prize nominee

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