This week on Under the Radar:

In a new book, author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai braids together the stories of a young mother hoping for a life in America, an adult son searching for the father he never knew and an American Vietnam war veteran looking for redemption. The legacy of the Vietnam War is on their faces — the children of the American GI’s stationed in Vietnam during the war and the local women who bore them — left behind and overwhelmingly rejected.

“Dust Child” is at once empathetic, devastating and upbeat, burnished with Quế Mai's stunning signature prose. It’s our April selection for “Bookmarked: The Under the Radar Book Club."

"I think we are blessed with a life on this Earth so that we can uplift each other, and I really think every one of us has so much power inside of us that we can use for a good purpose," said Quế Mai when asked what she wants her readers to take away from her novel.


Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is the author of twelve books of fiction, poetry and non- fiction written in Vietnamese and English. Her work has been translated into twenty languages. Her first novel “The Mountains Sing”, the first written in English, was a runner up for the 2021 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and other awards including the 2021 Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award, and the 2021 International Book Award. “Dust Child” is her second historical novel.