Runner-up for the 2021 Dayton Literary Peace Prize
'Dazzling. Sharply drawn and hauntingly beautiful.' Elif Shafak, author of The Island of Missing Trees Four lives, entwined forever by decisions made in a time of conflict. But what happens decades later when they unexpectedly converge o...
'[An] absorbing, stirring novel... Que Mai contains her saga with a poet's discipline, crafting spare and unsparing sentences, and uplifts it with a poet's antenna for beauty in the most desolate circumstances. She evokes the landscape hauntingly, as a site of loss so profound it assumes the quality of fable.' -- New York Times Book Review 'The Mountains Sing is an epic account of Vit Nams painful 20th century history, both vast in scope and intimate in its telling. Through the travails of one family, Nguyn Phan Qu Mai brings us close to the horrors of famine, war, and class struggle. But in this moving and riveting novel, she also shows us a post-war Vit Nam, a country of hope and renewal, home to a people who have never given up.' -- Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of The Sympathizer 'Devastating From the French and Japanese occupations to the Indochina wars, The Great Hunger, land reform and the Vietnam War, its a story of resilience, determination, family and hope in a country blighted by pain.' -- Refinery29, 'Best New Books, August 2020' 'A sweeping story that positions Vietnamese life within the rich and luminous history of national epics like The Tale of Kiu and The Iliad. Expansive in scope and feeling, The Mountains Sing is a feat of hope, an unflinchingly felt inquiry into the past, with the courageous storytelling of the present.' -- Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous 'A Vietnamese poet conjures history and fate in a luminous tale that resonates across generations as one family grapples with the psychic residue of war.' -- O, The Oprah Magazine 'I learned so much that I needed to know about Vietnam This book, first and foremost, is one of the most significant contributions to literature.' -- Natalie Jenner, author of The Jane Austen Society 'Inspired by the experiences of [Nguyen Phan Que Mais] own family, and backed up by extensive research, it's a testament to their endurance; a harrowing novel which finds hope in the author's faith in reconciliation and understanding.' -- Herald, Glasgow 'A luminous, complex family narrative... Que Mai [has] an astute and graceful ability to sustain contradictory truths about war, displacement, aesthetic representations, and human nature... The Mountains Sing affirms the individuals right to think, read, and act according to a code of intuitive civility, borne out of Vietnam's fertile and compassionate cultural heritage.' -- NPR 'A sweeping saga... Alternating between lyricism and blunt reality, Nguyn Phan Qu Mai gives us a vivid look at Vietnam from within.' -- People Magazine 'Nguyen Phan Que Mais sweeping tale proves on every page that despite war-time tragedies and numbing ugliness, the human desire to forgive and thrive soars as high as the mountains.' -- Thanhha Lai, National Book Award-winning author of Inside Out and Back Again 'A mesmerizing, devastating, searing and utterly authentic and deeply human novel. Cannot recommend highly enough!' -- Lynn Novick, co-producer of The Vietnam War documentary 'A glorious novel which sweeps across land, generations and hearts... A rare gem that I will never forget.' The Write Review 'A moving tribute to the author's own family, but also to the people of Vit Nam and I wouldnt hesitate to recommend it... If you enjoyed Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, or The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See, this is undoubtedly one for you.' Reads & Reveries 'The Mountains Sing is an epic novel weaving together stories of four generations of the fictional Tran family...The novel is poetic, absorbing and illustrative of the enormous sacrifices of the Vietnamese people, particularly the women.' The Green Left, Aust
Dr Nguyn Phan Qu Mai is an award-winning Vietnamese poet and novelist. She is the author of eleven books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Her books in Vietnamese have received the 2010 Poetry of the Year Award from the Hanoi Writers Association, the Capitals Literature & Arts Award, and First Prize in the Poetry Competition celebrating 1,000 Years of Hanoi. Her debut novel and first book in English, The Mountains Sing, is an International Bestseller, runner-up in the 2021 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Winner of the 2020 BookBrowse Best Debut Award, Winner of the Blogger's Book Prize 2021, Winner of the 2021 International Book Awards, Winner of the 2021 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and Winner of the 2020 Lannan Literary Award Fellowship for "a work of exceptional quality" and for "contribution to peace and reconciliation". For more information, visit: nguyenphanquemai.com