Mother’s Tale and Other Stories by Khanh Ha: On TourPosted on August 18, 2021A Mother’s Tale and Other Stories by Khanh Ha
Publisher: C&R Press (October 15, 2021)
Category: Linked Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Tour dates: October 11-November 24, 2021
Available in Print and ebook, 150 pages
Description Mother’s Tale and Other Stories by Khanh HaA Mother’s Tale is a tale of salvaging one’s soul from received and inherited war-related trauma. Within the titular beautiful story of a mother’s love for her son is the cruelty and senselessness of the Vietnam War, the poignant human connection, and a haunting narrative whose set ting and atmosphere appear at times otherworldly through their land scape and inhabitants.
Captured in the vivid descriptions of Vietnam’s country and culture are a host of characters, tortured and maimed and generous and still empathetic despite many obstacles, including a culture wrecked by losses. Somewhere in this chaos readers will find a tender link between the present-day survivors and those already gone. Rich and yet buoyant with a vision-like quality, this collection shares a common theme of love and loneliness, longing and compassion, where beauty is discovered in the moments of brutality, and agony is felt in ecstasy.
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REVIEW by LAWonder10:
This story is written in a tender, forlorn manner. It is a vivid reminder of the atrocities of the politically , deceptive Viet Nam War. While, many times, the tragedies of War is written from an American or British viewpoint, it is humbling to read the views of those who experienced the war in their own country. The countrymen are often driven from their homes, communities burned or destroyed, plus, the personal loss of loved ones.
This is a Quick read, yet very poignant. it was quite well written, yet I had a problem really feeling emotionally connected to it. However, intellectually, I could realize the pain, loss and confusion. I feel it is a book most needs to read to stay aware of the past and strive to not repeat it. Corrupt and greedy individuals in government can cause grief beyond measure. It is so important to carefully choose a leader upon merit of his/her character and integrity.
I offer a Three and a Half Stars rating for this book .
*This book was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
Inside the Mind of the Author By Khanh Ha
As an author of three published novels and over thirty short stories, several of them award-winners, I have acquired a sense of how to approach a writing project and finish it. I taught myself by learning from mistakes and the way I erred in my early years as a writer. I’m still learning every day when I read, write, because reading and writing nourish each other.
In fact, how does a writer train himself? Hemingway trained himself by listening to his memory and rearranging it by tinting it, so many of his writings seemed to come from first-hand experience. You can create fiction from secondary sources by alertly watching what happens around you. You listen when people talk. You discern the smells around you. You understand, never judging, because you are everything―being the Maker―when you write. The five tips for writing fiction are subjective—every writer must have his own rules of writing. However, we all learn from one another and writing tips, therefore, contribute to such growth.
Writers who have in their repertoire published and/or unpublished short stories would fret about how they would fit together in a collection. Should the stories share a common thread, a theme? Can they be unrelated to one another and yet stand on their own merit?
Either approach works. However, the build of a story collection might benefit by strategically placing stories with reciprocal settings and moods in such a logical way they help the stories flow better. Then each structure, as a cohesive unit, must impress either as a whole or by the strength of each individual story. Pleasure reading is that which seeks enjoyment. Whatever structure a story collection is built with must please readers in the end.
HOW TO AVOID THE INFO DUMP, WHILE STILL KEEPING YOUR READERS IN THE STORY
For books that require background inquiry for depth and authencity, you need to be thorough in your research. Historical work—fiction or non-fiction—is a case in point. After exhaustive research you will have in your hands a heavy volume of information ready to be used. This is where fiction differs from non-fiction regarding how much of such information can be used where it is called for. This is truer for fiction—novel or short story—where you must exert the utmost discretion, much like an information filter, so that only essential information bits are allowed in. Too much attachment to your research materials, or overly depending on them, will see the author dumping information that might run at times for pages. These pages are devoid of drama, tension, conflict. They are simply factual descriptions. They are dead prose that stops readers from being an active participant. They also reveal the writer’s hand as amateur. Even when the research materials are used, they should be used at a minimum; or they should be broken up and used in other scenes rather than in one single scene. They can be tweaked to fit the context of the scene. In other words, bring them to life by fictionalizing them.
Unlike an actor who plays just his role, an author plays all his characters’ roles, like a man who plays chess against himself.
You can imagine characters. Yet until you write them out, you haven’t known them. Let them interact with one another. It’s then that you begin to explore your characters’ depths. If you ask me what’s the hardest part in writing a novel, I’ll tell you: characterization. That’s what separates a literary novel from a potboiler. Characters shape a story line, not the other way around. You can’t think up a plot and shoehorn your characters into it. If you do, you are writing a potboiler. In fact, well-developed characters create a more convincing story line, even shaping it or altering it against your original vision.
HOW TO CRAFT AN UNLIKEABLE CHARACTER THAT IS RELATABLE TO READERS.
In a novel or a short story you have the protagonist and the antagonist. The antagonist might not be a bad character. But if he is an unlikeable character, can you make him relatable to readers? Take the antihero Paris Trout in the eponymous novel Paris Trout by Pete Dexter. You might not like Paris Trout, an imposing menace of a villain who virtually possesses not an iota of sympathy for anyone but himself. He is a walking time bomb, packed with loathing of human beings. A wife abuser, a shrewd, laconic, yet psychopathic employer who believes in his own mind that he is absolutely right in every thing he does, even murdering someone. Despite all his vices and warped paranoia, Paris Trout is an irresistible villain who belongs to the same class of sociopaths like Lester Ballard in Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God. Here is a question: Do you make a villain a well-rounded character? That depends on your vision. Your story line will change as it is shaped by such a character. The novel Paris Trout would have taken a completely new direction should Paris Trout been endowed with some degree of humanity as countermeasure to his villainy. In fact, you do not have to like a bad character. But an unlikeable character must be compelling. In that sense, he will be the story’s magnet.
About Khanh Ha
Khanh Ha is the author of Flesh, The Demon Who Peddled Longing, and Mrs. Rossi’s Dream. He is a seven-time Pushcart nominee, finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize, Many Voices Project, Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and The University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize. He is the recipient of the Sand Hills Prize for Best Fiction, the Robert Watson Literary Prize in Fiction, and the Orison Anthology Award for Fiction. Mrs. Rossi’s Dream, was named Best New Book by Booklist and a 2019 Foreword Reviews INDIES Silver Winner and Bronze Winner. A Mother’s Tale & Other Stories has already won the C&R Press Fiction Prize.
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This giveaway is for 3 print copies, 1 per winner, U.S. only and ends on November 24, 2021, 12 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.
You can find the tour schedule, HERE:
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.