Tales from a Mountain City: A Vietnam Memoir

Tales from a Mountain City is a blend of history and memoir told by a young Vietnamese girl growing up during the last years of the war and the communist regime. This is a poignant account of the innocence of a child, the innocence of a people, shattered again and again by the cruel tides of power and dogma, clinging tenaciously to their traditions, their home provinces, their hometowns, until the sheer pervasiveness of a communist value system drives them to suicide or exile. Indirectly, this story raises many questions on nationalism and qualities of power, freedom and independence, human rights and human nature.

“Quynh Dao’s book is part history, part autobiography. She has written an extraordinary account of a family utterly destroyed by Marxist-Leninist ideology over a period of 30 years. And yet, her will to survive was indomitable. This is not just the story of one family; it is the story of a nation.” – News Weekly

“In the midst of turmoil, Quynh Dao discovers an impressive resilience. After escaping from Vietnam to Malaysia, Quynh Dao arrived in Australia as a refugee just over three decades ago. Tales from a Mountain City is a perceptive and sensitive account of a life in South Vietnam in the 1970s.” – The Sydney Institute Quarterly

“Surprisingly, the author imbues this gruelling tale with lightness and charm appropriate to the naivety of a child. This is an effective device that cloaks the reader in the same ignorance and innocence and, as in The Diaries of Anne Frank, finds a path through the terrible histories shielded from the absolute atrocity that is war.” – Driftwood

“Readers of this book will gain more understanding about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers.” – The Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser

“A notable contribution to the body of literature on this particular period of Vietnam – a good source for overseasborn generations of Vietnamese background to understand one of the biggest exoduses of asylum seekers in the late 20th Century.” – Tuong Quang Luu, AO

Quynh Dao escaped Vietnam by boat to Malaysia and came to Australia as a refugee in 1979. She is a member of the Refugee Council and Amnesty International. Tales from a Mountain City is among the winners of the 2007 Australian Society of Authors mentorship program.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780980690910 / 9780980690965

Category: Memoir

Trade paperback: 292 / 286 pages

Publication Date: 11 November 2012

RRP: AU $22.95 (pbk) | AU $32.95 (hbk) | $7.99 (ebook)

OUT OF PRINT