peteg's blog

Nguyễn Huy Thiệp: The General Retires and other stories, translated by Greg Lockhart.

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I prefered this collection to the later The Light of the Capital, mostly because the stories are closer to folk tales, albeit ones rife with social commentary. The author is, like Dương Thu Hương, a product of the đổi mới policies of 1986, and there is apparently a similar ambivalence about his work.

The standouts were The Water Nymph, The General Retires, A Drop of Blood and A Mother's Soul. As with the previous collection, the translations are perhaps trying to be too close to idiomatic English; I think it would be better to let more of the Vietnamese locutions leak through, given how much of the culture is encoded in them.

You can read Linh Din's translation of the title story here.