Family mysteries unfold in Lan Cao’s sweeping, lyrical novel about war and its casualties. Alternating between the voice of Mai, a Vietnamese-American woman and her father, Minh, a former commander of the airborne brigade in the South Vietnamese army, The Lotus and the Storm follows a family from Saigon during the war to US Vietnamese refugee communities forty years later. This novel offers a rarely heard Vietnamese-American perspective on events that have been central to twentieth-century American history. Working across a broad and astonishing canvas, Lan Cao has delivered a truly epic drama of love, loyalty, and the legacies of war.
Lan Cao was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1961, the same year that President Ngo Dinh Diem was elected President of the Republic of Vietnam. She came to the United States in 1975 and eventually settled with her family in Virginia. Her first novel, Monkey Bridge, came out of her desire for and need to come to terms with the journey of war, immigration and exile.
Andrew Lam is the author of Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora, which won the 2006 PEN Open Book Award, and East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres. His recent book of short stories, Birds of Paradise Lost, recently received the 2013 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award.
Co-sponsored by Asia Society