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We desperately need a good translation of “The Tale of Kieu,” a Vietnamese classic that has yet to be translated in a way that adequately balances the verse form of the original with a contemporary English language style. I have heard a rumor#8212;hopefully true#8212;that John Balaban is working on a new version, and if the rumor does prove to be true the English reading world will be much the better for it. I would love to see the collected works of Ho Anh Thai translated, and the same for Ma Van Khang and Bao Ninh. These three are the pillars of post-war Vietnamese literature. I’d also like to see a collection of Phan Trieu Hai’s stories translated—he’s had one translated for Wayne Karlin’s collection Love After War, but that’s all that I know of.
Charles Waugh is the fiction editor of Isotope: A Journal of Literary Science and Nature Writing, and his fiction, nonfiction, and critical essays have appeared or are forthcoming in a variety of national journals.
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