Postcards from Nam is a novella by Uyen Nicole Duong. She has written two other books- Daughters of the River Huong and Mimi and Her Mirror. I will now be reading both of those! The author’s biography is amazing. She arrived in the U.S. at the age of 16. She went on to earn a law degree and became the first Vietnamesee American appointed as a judge in the U.S. She now has a Fulbright fellowship studying human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Basically, she rocks!
In Postcards from Nam, Mimi, a successful lawyer in D.C. who immigrated to the United Statess as a teen. She has really blocked out most of her Vietnamese childhood. Once in the U.S., she randomly starts receiving postcards from Thailand with beautiful drawings on them. All are signed by “Nam”. Mimi doesn’t recognize Nam’s name but clearly Nam knew her well.
Mimi begins a search for Nam which causes numerous childhood memories to resurface. She has long repressed memories of the boy who loved her during her childhood. Unfortunately, his path to adulthood was much more tragic than her own. The book is the story of her rediscovering Nam.
The writing is simply chilling-
“I have a theory about memory. We never completely forget. We only bandage ourselves. What is underneath the Band-Aid consists of memory. One day, we must peel off the Band- Aid to look at what has beome of us underneath.”
“There is a cord that connects a baby to the mother’s womb. … The cord is cut, but the bond lives on, as sign from mothers to daughters and then granddaughters, down the bloodline.”
Run to read this lovely book!
Goldberg McDuffie provided a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
What are you reading and where are you going?