• Hardcover: 368 pages
• Publisher: Black Heron Press (May 18, 2012)
The setting is Tonkin (northern Vietnam) at the turn of the 20th century. A boy, Tai, witnesses the beheading of his father, a notorious bandit, and sets out to recover his head and then to find the man who betrayed his father to the authorities. On this quest, Tai’s entire world will shift. Flesh takes the reader into dark and delightful places in the human condition, places where allies are not always your friends, true love hurts, and your worst enemy may bring you the most comfort. In that emotionally harrowing world, Tai must learn to deal with new responsibilities in his life while at the same time acknowledge his bond, and his resemblance, to a man he barely knew—his father. Through this story of revenge is woven another story, one of love, but love purchased with the blood of murders Tai commits. A coming-of-age story, but also a love story, the sensuality of the author’s writing style belies the sometimes brutal world he depicts.
“In this dark, violent, and poetic saga, with disjointed cinematic vignettes that make it often read like a screenplay, characters are not who they seem. While this makes for a thrilling finale, what lingers [. . .] is Ha’s descriptive prose.” —Publishers Weekly
“Readers who enjoy epic sagas set in faraway lands will find absorbing satisfaction here.” —Library Journal
“Anyone looking for a gripping adventure story combined with a painless history lesson is going to love this novel.” —Joanna Catherine Scott, author of Indochina’s Refugees: Oral Histories from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam and Charlie: a novel of Vietnam.
“Good historical fiction allows a reader to enter another time and place. However, Khanh Ha’s Flesh goes further, not only creating a rich portrait of late nineteenth century northern Vietnam, but presenting a hero who is entirely a product of that world, violent and tender. His story is more than a period piece. It is grounded in his own loyalties, his desires, and his slow understanding of the secrets of the human heart.” —Simone Zelitch, author of The Confession of Jack Straw, Moses in Sinai, and Louisa
Khanh Ha was born in Hue, the former capital of Vietnam. During his teen years he began writing short stories which won him several awards in the Vietnamese adolescent magazines. He graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Flesh is his first novel. He is at work on a new novel.
Visit the author at his website.
Khanh’s Tour Stops
Monday, June 18th: Olduvai Reads
Tuesday, June 19th: Savvy Verse & Wit
Monday, June 25th: The Year in Books
Thursday, June 28th: Drey’s Library
Tuesday, July 3rd: Man of La Book
Monday, July 9th: libbysbookblog
Friday, July 13th: Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White
Monday, July 16th: Buried in Print
Tuesday, July 17th: Mary’s Cup of Tea
Monday, July 23rd: A Novel Source
Thursday, July 26th: Book Dilettante