Revisiting Patrick Modiano’s Sleeping Memory

But after half a century, the few people who witnessed your early years have finally disappeared – and anyway, it’s doubtful that many of them would make the connection between what you’ve become and the vague image they’ve retained of a young man whose name they might not even recall. Patrick Modiano, Sleep of Memory […]

#Stories on the Street, part II

#Stories on the Street, part II

This is also a story from the same bun rieu store. I don’t know what word I can use to describe the sweltering hot bun rieu store (or stand) where the space it has can be called a restaurant, if only the owner decide to decorate it. But there you have it: a little (useless) […]

#11. Aren’t You The Happiest Man, Mr. Unfortunate?

#11. Aren’t You The Happiest Man, Mr. Unfortunate?

One. “Now this here is what I call a blue sky. Today is an unexceptionally nice day, isn’t it? Wouldn’t you say today is the day? See, the wind is supporting us. With this wind, we will go far, and I don’t even know where it will take us, Mr. Unfortunate. But today you are […]

#9. Hurtful Things Are Beautiful Things

#9. Hurtful Things Are Beautiful Things

I woke up to Nha sitting like a monument at the edge of the wooden bed. A champion of inconsolable sadness and grief. Except that he was not a monument. It’s just that somehow, he happened to sit there long enough to become one. My phone was still in his hands. The battery was long […]

#5. The First Conversation

#5. The First Conversation

“What did you tell him, you snitch?” Nha asked me, his teeth gritting while his left hand squeezed the bone out of my right arm. “Nothing much. I said I was running away with a murderer. I said that the same murderer threatened to kill me. And I also said the murderer I was running […]

#4. Thang “Khung”‘s Story*

#4. Thang “Khung”‘s Story*

My bus departed at one in the morning. We drivers always joked with each other about the girl left at one in the morning. We said it was the devil’s bus, ’cause there’s always something that happened to her. After all, the thirteenth hour, right? The week before that day, Viet “Ba Tam” drove her […]

#3. I Can Only Do Nothing For You

#3. I Can Only Do Nothing For You

I opened the door to one of the most astonishing scenes in my entire life. My best boy was there with a man who looked a decade older than him. The old bastard carried every symbol of bad luck. Dirty shirt, torn jeans, callous hands, skin darker than my funeral dress. I could go on […]

The Louki Within

The Louki Within

A review of Patrick Modiano’s “In the Cafe of Lost Youth.” Choosing this book was not my rational decision. It was an impulse one. The news announced that a certain Mr. Patrick Modiano had won the Nobel Prize in literature and as a vain enthusiast of all literary things, I just had to buy the […]