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After an eight years long hiatus, Nguyễn Ngọc Tư comes back with her second novel. Mesmerising, poignant, lyrical, existential, yet claustrophobic, Water: A Chronicle encapsulates the beauty of what contemporary Vietnamese writing has to offer.

Water: a Chronicle

At the heart of this watery ‘chronicle’ is a dual mystery: a holy man on an island empire, once a con artist, and a desperate mother named Phúc (Fortune) seeking his heart to cure her child. The mosaic novel of nine stories circles this enigma like the river’s currents, carrying with it fragments of myth and life from timeless Mekong.

A trans woman who wants to be “full”, a shadow bride who wants to be fleshed, a mad woman with a colicky infant, a words-eating-woman shielding her child from a fly apocalypse…. The ghosts and ghouls that reflect upon the water surface may well be the everyday reality of river life, or simply the universal haunting of womanhood.

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Available on backorder

Additional information

Original Title

Biên sử nước


Nguyễn Ngọc Tư


Nguyễn an lý


Deborah Smith

Cover Artist

Nguyễn Thanh Vũ







Release Date (est.)

September 2024