I’m thrilled to have received endorsements for my novel from Le Ly Hayslip (who I also recently had the chance to meet for lunch in HCMC) and Andrew X. Pham (who I’ve never met, but who I’m now obliged to buy a beer for as an expression of gratitude for his kindness – his idea, not mine).

Le Ly Hayslip is the author of When Heaven and Earth Changed Places (a PEN-award winner and the basis for Oliver Stone’s film “Heaven and Earth”) and Child of War, Woman of Peace.

Andrew X. Pham is the author of Catfish and Mandala (NY Times Notable Book of the Year) and The Eaves of Heaven (National Book Critics Circle finalist), and also the translator from Vietnamese of Last Night I Dreamed of Peace.

If anyone had suggested to me two years ago, before I had found a publisher, that my novel would be endorsed by either writer, I would have scoffed at the notion. Now I simply don’t know what to make of any of it.

I’ve never put much stock in endorsements – I've read that they have no measurable effect on selling books, for example – but what I didn’t expect from getting them was the feeling of legitimacy they would give me. To hear two favorite (and award-winning) writers say they enjoyed my novel is something else I never expected to hear.

AuthorDavid Joiner