2016 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Winner

Michael Helm



Yasuko Thanh
Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains
Hamish Hamilton

Yasuko Thanh

 

"Straining under the colonial rule of the French at the turn of the twentieth century, Vietnam is rife with corruption, oppression, opium dens, and revolutionary cells, and an active guillotine dominates a Saigon square.

With compelling narrative drive, Yasuko Thanh imbues Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains with atmosphere and resonance, and creates mesmerizing characters who undergo complex change  politically, socially, personally, sexually  as they are gathered into a vortex of intrigue and risk. The author is as fearless and as wise in reshaping the mystique of the revolutionary as she is in delineating a dramatic time and place in this elegant and tantalizing novel."

- 2016 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury Lauren B. Davis, Trevor Ferguson, and Pasha Malla

About the Book

Vietnam is a haunted country, and Dr. Nguyen Georges-Minh is a haunted man. In 1908, the French rule Saigon, but uneasily; dissent whispers through the corridors of the city. Each day, more Vietnamese rebels are paraded through the streets towards the gleaming blade of the guillotine, now a permanent fixture in the main square and a gruesome warning to those who would attempt to challenge colonial rule. It is a warning that Georges-Minh will not heed. A Vietnamese national and Paris-educated physician, he is obsessed by guilt over his material wealth and nurses a secret loathing for the French connections that have made him rich, even as they have torn his beloved country apart.

About the Author

Yasuko Thanh won the Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize in 2009 for her story “Floating Like the Dead.” In 2012, her debut collection of the same name was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Thanh’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Prairie Fire, Descant, PRISM international, and Vancouver Review. She lives in Victoria.

 


  
 
 

Woodcock Fund
Applications

Ongoing


Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Third Deadline

November 22, 2017


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