Twilight Territory by Andrew X. Pham

Twilight Territory by Andrew X. Pham
English | 2024 | Historical Fiction

A sweeping first novel of love, war, and resistance in post–World War II Vietnam, by the award-winning author of Catfish and Mandala.


The peak of the hot season, 1942: The wars in Europe and Asia and the Japanese occupation have upset the uneasy balance of French Indochina. In the Vietnamese fishing village of Phan Thiet, Tuyet ekes out a living at a small storefront with her aunt Coi, her cousin Ha, and her two-year-old daughter, Anh. She can hardly remember her luxurious life in the city of Saigon, which she left just two years ago.

The day Tuyet meets Japanese major Yamazaki Takeshi is inauspicious and stifling, with no relief from the sand-stirring wind. But to her surprise, she feels not fear or wariness, but a strange kinship. Tuyet is guarded, knowing how the townspeople might whisper, yet is drawn to Takeshi’s warmth all the same. A wounded veteran with a good heart, Takeshi grows to resent the Empire for what it has taken—and the promises it has failed to keep. As the Viet Minh begin to battle the French and Takeshi risks his life for the Resistance, Tuyet and her family are drawn into the conflict, with devastating consequences.

A lushly panoramic novel, by turns gritty and profoundly moving, Twilight Territory is at once a war story and a love story that offers a fascinating perspective on Vietnam’s struggles to break free of its French colonial past. At its heart is one woman’s struggle for independence and her country’s liberation.

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