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She Weeps Each Time You're Born: A Novel (2014)

de Quan Barry

Altres autors: Betty Lew (Map illustration)

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

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A young girl born under mysterious circumstances a few years before the reunification of Vietnam possesses the otherworldly ability to hear the voices of the dead.
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» Mira també 4 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 6 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Well, this book taught me that I know nothing about Vietnam history. Seriously. Loved this though. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
i'm obsessed

ok see, this book is beautifully written, which isn't a surprised considering the author's a poet, but it's also beautiful because it's so comprehensive in its articulation of vietnamese history sans americanisms. it tells of a history long before the americans came, and long after they left.

it's a book about VIETNAM. and i like history written in such a poetic, opaque style because i'm captured by the country, its history and its people. i know jack about vietnam aside from the vietnam war and i feel compelled to learn more. and more. THE SYMPATHIZER is on my tbr and I can't wait.

also the SEA region is so popular among western solo backpackers because it offers really budget-friendly travel, and i'm a travel enthusiast myself so i've obviously been low-key planning a huge trip around SEA for awhile, but now i think i need to take a step back. one day when i walk in vietnam i need to acknowledge being american and understand being vietnamese (metaphorically bc i am not actually vietnamese & have no ties to vietnam) - whether as a northerner, a southerner, an ethnic minority, or otherwise. i need to really feel it, in the all-encompassing way that rabbit hears the dead. ( )
  wildrequiem | Jan 13, 2017 |
Vietnam's history is violent and tragic and yet as Westerner's we often only see it from our point of view. In this debut, Quan Barry attempts to tell us the story from the other side. The book opens towards the end of the Vietnam war with the birth of a child under the light of the Rabbit Moon. The story weaves her life together in bits and pieces, sometimes jumping through time, though always in a linear fashion. It tells us the story of a girl whose life starts in abject fear and poverty in the south of Vietnam, migration at the wars conclusion, reeducation camps, her rise to fame as the northerns tried to quash any mention or sympathy for the south, and her subsequent downfall.

This is a moving story. I learned much about Vietnam and what it was really like for the average person living there. Rabbit was a fascinating character. I truly came to care what happened to her. None of the other characters ever came to life for me though. It was as if they were all background to the one character the author seemed to really care about. Additionally this book was filled with magical realism. Sometimes this works for me, and sometimes it doesn't. In this case it was a bit of some and a bit of the other. Rabbit's ability to hear the voices of the dead allowed the story of Vietnam to be told in an unique manner. Without it, she would have had a much more difficult time showing the reader what happened there. That said, the magical abilities of others such as the silent Qui and the ever young Linh made absolutely no sense to me, and I'm not sure why they were necessary. In the end those elements brought this book down from a strong four stars to something closer to 3 1/2. It was a strong debut and I look forward to seeing what else the author is capable of publishing. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
Born in the middle of the Vietnam War and left in her mother’s grave, Rabbit can hear the voices and stories of the dead. Though she grows up after the height of the fighting, she comes to find her country has been plagued with violence and war for decades. Through the stories of her ancestors, Rabbit must learn to come to terms with Vietnam’s past, her ability to see it, and her place in its future.

Though the book is guided maps and family trees, I found the first few sections of She Weeps Each Time You’re Born difficult to navigate. However, Rabbit’s birth creates a center for the novel, both as a marker for time and a connection between characters. While the chronology continues to shift, it does so around Rabbit’s visions, which become the highlights of the story.

“Perhaps we are the reason she didn’t utter a single word for so long. The truth is, during those first years of total silence, people hardly noticed. Why talk to the living when she had us? And if they had noticed her lack of speech, if they had wondered, what would they have seen? The way at dusk this baby girl would sometimes look at empty air, nothing there at all, and begin to weep?”

From French colonization, through the Vietnam War and into the present, Rabbit is able to see Vietnam’s history through the stories of the dead. Though they are often told with little background, which may leave readers with no prior knowledge feeling slightly lost, the tales shed fascinating light on shifting power dynamics within the country while holding strong to the novel’s humanity.

Barry works magical realism into the story in a way that seems to fit effortlessly with the rest of the narrative. Though the elements, like Rabbit’s gift and Qui’s ability to nurse throughout her long life, are noticeably fantastical they feel like a natural way to propel the story forward. Quan Barry has found a masterfully unique way to blend history, culture and bits of magic in She Weeps Each Time You’re Born.

More at rivercityreading.com ( )
  rivercityreading | Aug 10, 2015 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Quan Barryautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Lew, BettyMap illustrationautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Lew, BettyDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Takahashi, BihoAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Wong, JoanDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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And then She saw them--burn! burn!

and simply the water was made as glass.

And She is the way when there is no way.

She weeps each time you're born.
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for TLB and MIB

with L&L
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The sampan ride back down the swallow bird river is uneventful, everywhere the dragonflies floating fat and red in the late-afternoon sun.
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A young girl born under mysterious circumstances a few years before the reunification of Vietnam possesses the otherworldly ability to hear the voices of the dead.

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