Revenge of Gaia: Contemporary Vietnamese Ecofiction (Paperback)
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The fiction chosen for this collection have been in active circulation in Vietnam since 1986, ‘The Reform Year’, when Vietnamese artists and writers were politically and culturally ‘liberated’ and engaged with great commitment in criticizing, among other things, the government’s environmental policies and ways in which these were enmeshed in economic strategies and schemes for so-called national progress. Thus, modernization and industrialization that were the chosen paths of the postcolonial Vietnamese government, become the major targets of contemporary Vietnamese ecofiction.
All these stories, extremely contemporary, emphasise a counter-narrative that challenges socialist goals of development and modernisation. They articulate and affirm a more holistic vision, where man is no longer a predator but a participant of nature. These stories therefore are politically charged and pave the path for a more visionary future.
About the Author
Chi Pham (Ph.D.) is a tenure-researcher at the Institute of Literature in the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. She completed her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Riverside (USA). Her dissertation, her researcher articles and conference presentations delve examine Vietnamese literature and politics. Of late, Chi has become increasingly interested in the field of literature and environment; she was the Chair of the organising committee of the second ASLE-ASEAN conference in Hanoi (January 2018), for which she put together the call for paper. Chi's native knowledge of Vietnamese culture and literature will add a dimension of authenticity.
Chitra Sankaran (Ph.D.) is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, NUS. Her research interests include South and Southeast Asian fiction, feminist theory and ecocriticism. In 2012 she published with SUNY Press, History, Narrative and Testimony in Amitav Ghosh's Fiction. Her other publications include monographs, edited volumes on Asian Literatures, chapters in books and research articles in IRJs including Journal of Commonwealth Literature, ARIEL, Theatre Research International, Journal of South Asian Literature, Australian Feminist Studies and Critical Asian Studies. She is an invited contributor to the Oxford History of the Novel in English (OHNE) series. She is currently working on ecofeminism in South Asian and Southeast Asian fictions
Tran Duy Phien (1942-) is an author of a numerous novels and short stories that were published under the collapsed Republic of Vietnam (1954-1975) and the present-day Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Some of them are Đốt lửa sau mây (long story, 1969) Trước khi mặt trời mọc (collection of stories, 1972), Trăm năm còn lại (novel, 1996), Kiến và Người (collection of stories, 1996), Ngược dòng phù hoa (collection of stories, 1997), Chim trong thành quách cũ (collection of stories), 2003.
Nguyen Minh Chau (1930-1989) was a military author who identified himself to write to serve the nation’s nationalist and socialist revolutions. He was the first author who criticized the socialist realism of Vietnam, calling for a reform of the national literature. Some of his works are: Cửa song (novel, 1966), Dấu chân người lính (novel, 1972), Miền cháy (novel,1977), Người đàn bà trên chuyến tàu tốc hành (short story, 1983), Bến quê (short story, 1985).
Trần Trung Chính (1953-) is the author of many short stories, most of which were published in Lao Dong newspaper and Song Huong magazine (1989-1992). The short story Black Carp, included in his anthology Cư trú (2006), is often quoted by Vietnamese scholars as a typical ecofiction of Vietnam.
Hoàng Tố Mai (1972-) is an author and an ecocritic of Vietnam. Some of her works are Nắng nhạt ơi nắng nhạt (collection of short stories, 2002), Thực đơn mây trắng (collection of short stories, 2017), and Phê bình sinh thái là gì (collection of key texts in ecocriticism that were translated into Vietnamese in 2017).
Y Ban (1961-) is the author of five collections of short stories, the first of which, Người đàn bà có ma lực: truyện ngắn (collection of stories), won second prize in a national writing competition in 1993. She has also had seventy stories published in anthologies. Two of her books, I am Woman (2006) and Này hỏi thật đã thấy gì chưa đấy? (2011), were banned after publication in Vietnam.
Nguyễn Ngọc Tư (1976-) is a short story writer and novelist from the southern province Cà Mau in the Mekong Delta. She has received various awards, including the Southeast Asian Writers Award in 2008 and the Vietnam Writers' Association Award for her most famous work Cánh đồng bất tận (2006). Cánh đồng bất tận has been translated into Korean, Swedish, English, and German. The first collection of her stories in English, entitled Floating Lives, was published in 2012.