The Mountains Sing

A March reading selection: Washington Post * The New York Times.

A Most-Anticipated/Best Book of the Season/Year: Library Journal * Book Riot * Lit Hub * Real Simple * PopSugar * Paperback Paris * SheReads * The Buzz Magazine


"An epic account of Việt Nam's painful 20th century history, both vast in scope and intimate in its telling... moving and riveting... " —VIET THANH NGUYEN, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer

"The Mountains Sing is a feat of hope, an unflinchingly felt inquiry into the past, with the courageous storytelling of the present." —OCEAN VUONG, MacArthur Award-winning bestselling author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous 

"...a comprehensive multigenerational tale... the larger history takes a back seat to family dynamics, demonstrating how different generations weather the burdens of conflict." Washington Post

"Generations of a Vietnamese family grapple with the legacy of violence, colonialism and war as a woman tells her childhood history to her granddaughter during the Vietnam War." —The New York Times

“A sweeping tale of one family's shifting fortunes...  Invitingly and gracefully told... A richly imagined story of severed bonds amid conflict.” Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

“[A] lyrical, sweeping debut novel... This brilliant, unsparing love letter to Vietnam will move readers.”Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Nguyen displays a lush and captivating storyteller’s gift as she effortlessly transports readers to another world, leaving them wishing for more..." Library Journal Starred Review

"[A] panoramic epic … this book brings to life a crucial part of Vietnamese history from within. Your heart will not leave this book untouched.” Lit Hub

"...balances the unrelenting devastation of war with redemptive moments of surprising humanity." Booklist

"...a celebration of the human spirit, The Mountains Sing is a story you won't soon forget...." Popsugar


Forthcoming March 17, THE MOUNTAINS SING is available for pre-order now:


"...a stunning work of historical fiction that lays bare history long forgotten..." Paperback Paris
"...beautiful, heartbreaking and utterly essential... " — Saigoneer Bookshelf

“Reading this novel, I was moved by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s beautiful, even poetic, depictions of enduring courage. I came away with a deeper understanding of the war in which I fought.”—KARL MARLANTES, bestselling author of Matterhorn, What It’s Like to Go to War, and Deep River

“This book is an act of love, compassion, and ultimately healing.”—THI BUI, American Book Award-winning author of The Best We Could Do

“... a story of loss and sorrow, of longing for peace and normalcy, and—above all—of the triumph of hope over despair... “—MAI ELLIOTT, Pulitzer-Prize Finalist & author of The Sacred Willow

"Beautiful... Told with the sureness of a master storyteller with a poet's spirit. A large and complicated story, marvelous to read."—LARRY HEINEMANN, author of the National Book Award-winning Paco's Story

“An essential read for anyone who wants to discover Việt Nam, and for Vietnamese and Vietnamese-Americans searching to understand their grandparents and parents.” —THANHHÀ LẠI, bestselling & National Book Award-winning author of Inside Out & Back Again and Butterfly Yellow

"Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai brings herself to the forefront of those writers from Việt Nam who lately have gifted us with the stories of a country and a people often seen only as a backdrop for American pain. —WAYNE KARLIN, author of Wandering Souls, winner of the Vietnam Veterans of America Arts Award

"In The Mountains Sing, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai has found a true and clear voice in English that is rich and compelling the way only those who come to English as a second language can sometimes manage."—BRUCE WEIGL, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and author of the best-selling memoir The Circle of Hanh

"The structure is clever, the writing often evocative... And this is a first novel! Impressive."—SARA MAITLAND, the Somerset Maugham Award-winning author of Daughter of Jerusalem

"This is a book that glows with spirit and those larger life forces that include love. I look forward to the day I can put this book in readers' hands.” —RICK SIMONSON, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle