Paradise of the blind by Duong Thu Huong

IMG_6850Set in Hanoi, Vietnam. Reviewed on 2018/11:

#paradiseoftheblind was written to be eaten, to be tasted. So much so that it includes an extensive glossary of #vietnamesefood terms. #duongthuhuongwrote a delicious, savory and sensory #revolutionary manifesto of #resistance . Can #food be an instrument of resistance? The more you read #duong the more you realize that the provocative and revolutionary act is not the ingredients but the act of inviting people to your place, of allowing them to congregate around the table as equals and offering them moments of pleasure and détente conducive to reflection and thinking. The autocratic socialist #vietnamese government still in power today understood this immediately and not only expelled her from political life and temporarily imprisoned her. The same despot government also decided to ban all her books despite her wide popularity among Vietnamese readers. An act of #censorship which continues to this day. Much like Duong in real life, her main character here #hang wears her role of #dissenter as a badge of honor as it should be. In this story, the forces trying to coerce her come not only from the dehumanizing pro-soviet military government, but it also comes from her neighbors, her friends and her own family. Hang is confronted with the #dictatorship of good intentions and expectations, of your parents wanting to save you or projecting their own failures on you. However much like Duong and I imagine so many #vietnamesewomen in real life, she preserves by remaining true to herself and with the help of one powerful ally: food. Can we talk about fictional and political #bookofrecipes ? Maybe this is the closest I’m ever going to get to a response. #highlyrecommended #hanoi#williammorrowbooks#Nhữngthiênđườngmù #DươngThuHương#HàNội

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