January is One Book One Valley month, as friends and neighbors connect as they explore themes from “The Mountains Sing,” a multi-generational tale from 20th-century Viet Nam. The community is invited to join award-winning author Dr Nguyen Phan Que Mai for a remote live presentation of an evening in the Estes Valley to discuss her acclaimed novel. The show takes place via Zoom on Saturday, January 29 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“The Mountains Sing” tells an enveloping story of the Tran family, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Tran Dieu Lan, born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during land reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later, in Ha Noi, his young granddaughter, Huong, comes of age as her parents and uncles set out on the Ho Chi Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that not only tore her beloved country apart , but also his family.
Dr. Nguyen Phan Que Mai is an award-winning Vietnamese writer. She is the author of eleven books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. “The Mountain Sing” is her first novel and first book in English, and is a winner of the 2021 International Book Awards. She is passionate about inspiring others, and among her volunteer roles, she is a professor of creative writing at Roshan Learning Center for Refugees.
Born in a small village in northern Viet Nam in 1973, Que Mai emigrated with her family to the Mekong Delta in southern Viet Nam when she was six years old. Her parents worked as teachers and rice farmers and never had the chance to go to college. Together with her two older brothers, Que Mai has worked in many types of jobs to help her family earn a living, including working in the rice fields and selling vegetables. In 1992, an Australian government scholarship allowed him to travel and study for the first time outside of Viet Nam. In 2016, Que Mai pursued her childhood dream of becoming a writer. She wrote “The Mountains Sing” directly in English, to bring the authentic voices of Viet Nam into American literature. Her forthcoming second novel, “Dust Child,” is also set in Viet Nam.
Plan to attend, even if you haven’t read the book yet. The program will inspire your reading later this season. Paperback copies of the book are available for payment, as well as eBook and eAudio versions.
Special thanks to the generous donors of the Estes Valley Library Friends & Foundation for making One Book One Valley possible.
To register for the January 29 Authors’ Night, visit estesvalleylibrary.org. Attendees will receive the Zoom link prior to the event.