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The Zenith by Duong Thu Huong
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The Zenith

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The Zenith by Duong Thu Huong
Paperback $30.00
Jul 30, 2013 | ISBN 9780143123712

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  • Jul 30, 2013 | ISBN 9780143123712

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  • Aug 16, 2012 | ISBN 9781101583821

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Praise for The Zenith:
“[The Zenith] bravely imagines the final months of Ho Chi Minh’s life. It is the Doctor Zhivago of Vietnam, a book that explodes the sacred pieties of a Communist revolution by looking at the cost that revolution exacted on individual lives and romances . . . A vast and moving story about a nation liberated from colonialism only to be bound to an inhuman ideology, one that stripped even its heralded leader of his flesh and blood . . . a book that looks down on the Communist experiment from a lofty height and attempts to return it to a human scale. Remarkably, it succeeds, especially in its portrait of the country’s leader.” —The Boston Globe
“In this wonderful novel, Duong Thu Huong fearlessly confronts the merciless regime, describing the devastating consequences of the Vietnam War. Through a few families and their intimate stories, she merges political tragedy with human tragedies.” —Elle

The Zenith, lyrically translated by husband-wife translators Stephen B. Young and Hoa Pham Young, is part modern Vietnamese fable, part tragedy . . . the idea of power clashing with conscience forms the core of the novel.” —The Toronto Star
“[Huong] turns her penetrating gaze toward the highest, most venerated seat of power in Communist Vietnam: the revolution’s architect and saint, Ho Chi Minh . . . Huong [is] a master detective or the gutsiest of fiction writers.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Told from multiple points of view via characters whose lives unwittingly intersect . . . A fluid, nuanced, and densely intricate look at a culture still relatively unknown to Western readers, Huong’s challenging novel offers rich detail and provocative insights.” —Booklist

“Huong’s lyrical narrative, developed at a deliberate pace, is sometimes reminiscent of Hermann Broch’s The Death of Virgil . . . it also has undertones of Anatoly Rybakov’s Children of the Arbat . . . a complex, politically daring story, much of which will be unfamiliar to Western readers—and that demands to be read for that very reason.” —Kirkus Reviews
The Zenith is worth the time and attention, every page revealing richer, deeper treasures, poetic and moving, a grand yet intimate canvas of history, ideology, love affairs, and tragic beauty — most of all beauty, of the country, of the women, and of the heart.” —Historical Novel Society

“Huong is an imposing figure in Vietnamese literature . . . Much as Hilary Mantel in her Cromwell books, Huong makes the historical personal . . . one has the sense of a Tolstoyesque breadth and depth of both landscape and character . . . The Zenith represents a tour de force from an important writer taking great risks, political and literary. Beginning with a bold initial premise, Huong follows through with an epic on an impressive scale that does that premise justice.” —Fiction Writers Review

 “This is an important book that blends passion, clarity, a great understanding of the human heart, and a keen desire to pay tribute to those lost to history.” —Le Monde

Praise for the work of Duong Thu Huong:

“Extraordinary and profoundly tragic.” —Boston Sunday Globe

“Astonishingly powerful.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Breathtakingly original.” —San Francisco Chronicle

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