Dust Child

ISBN: 9781643755786
368 Pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books
by Que Mai Phan Nguyen


In 1969, sisters Trang and Quỳnh, desperate to help their parents pay off debts, leave their rural village to work in a bar in Sài Gòn. Once in the big city, the young girls learn how to drink and flirt (and more) with American GIs in return for money.

Decades later, an American veteran, Dan, returns to Việt Nam with his wife, Linda, hoping to find a way to heal from his PTSD; instead, secrets he thought he had buried surface and threaten his marriage. At the same time, Phong—the son of a Black American soldier and a Vietnamese woman—embarks on a search to find both his parents and a way out of Việt Nam to a better life in the United States for himself, his wife Bình, and his children.

Past and present converge as these characters come together to confront decisions made during a time of war—decisions that reverberate throughout one another’s lives and ultamately allow them and find common ground across race, generation, culture, and language. Immersive, moving, and lyrical, Dust Child tells an unforgettable story of how those who inherited tragedy can redefine their destinies with hard-earned wisdom, compassion, courage, and joy.


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