Vietnamese literature:

The best 15 English titles
you should read

VnExpress International asked two famous authors to share their favorites.

Whether you’re planning to visit Vietnam or you’re already a resident, language barriers often make it hard to truly get the country’s history, culture and people. So VnExpress International asked two famous authors for their all-time favorite Vietnamese books translated into English.

“I always hesitate to prepare such a list, since any list inevitably will exclude too many authors and works,” American author, literature professor and editor of the Voices from Vietnam book series Wayne Karlin wrote in an email.

"My apologies in advance to all of them!" he added.

It is indeed a daunting task to sort out the best literary voices from Vietnam. So we also reached out to Hoang Hung, a 75-year-old Vietnamese poet, translator, former teacher and journalist, for help.

The two authors gave us this exciting list of 15 important Vietnamese titles. They are either classics written centuries ago or modern classics that touch on colonization, wars, and life after war, all told through the Vietnamese kaleidoscope.

Quynh Trang

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