The Cry At Daybreak
Hoai Huong Nguyen
An Linh does not exist. You can wander through its rice paddies, roam across its hills, feel its breeze at dawn and gather yourself in its cemeteries facing the ocean.
Nothing of what follows is real. The correspondence that you will read could have taken place two hundred years ago. Asleep for many years, Isey, Thanh and their companions awake. One by one, they get up to enter an imaginary scene, still steeped in darkness. They get ready, dress in colourful tunics, highlight their eyes with a line of kohl, take a feather and sheets of paper to play their part. The scenery lights up: they are going to open the ball. May Heaven give life to their words, clarity to their voices, and grant them the grace to meet you.
Hence begins the new work by Hoai Huong Nguyen, a vibrant epistolary novel where love permeates each page and each haiku. Confronted by distance and death, the power of this love – many loves – will be the light which will guide the characters step by step until their final act.
What colour sail will be raised?
Her previous novel, Under the Burning Sky, was awarded the Livre Cheminot prize and the Renaissance Française prize in 2018.