Author (s):
 Harry Hervey (Author),
Kent Davis (Editor),
Pico Iyer (Foreword)
Release:
 2014
Category:
Books
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Early 20th century French Indochina: a place where the cultures, passions and blood of East and West mixed freely. In 1925, American author Harry Hervey saw white men “sowing the legend of Civilization in soil too fecund to resist any new growth,” inspiring his most vivid novel. In a tale drunk with sensuous beauty, irony and dark intensity, we experience the life of one young girl—a congai—named Thi-Linh.

Born of an Annamite mother and French father, Thi-Linh—a creature of fragile beauty and savage instinct—embodies the dreams, ambitions and future of Indochina, where two disparate races struggled to become one.

This expanded modern edition features a provocative foreword by renowned travel writer Pico Iyer; biographer Harlan Greene’s author profile, “Through a Woman’s Eyes: Congai, Heroines & Harry Hervey”; supplemental articles and a bibliography of Hervey’s complete works.

The book is also the basis of the successful Broadway play of the same name, co-written with Carleton Hildreth, that cast Helen Menken (Humphrey Bogart’s first wife) in the starring role.


Hervey opened the door to the way we would be seeing Indochina—on the page and in our heads—well into the 21st century. He always makes the reader aware that, just beneath the gossamer delicacy of the culture he’s describing, is something hard as steel: Thi-Linh sinks her nails into one French cheek until she draws blood…. “My deepest astonishment came with seeing how much Congai anticipates perhaps the greatest and most evergreen foreign novel about modern Vietnam, The Quiet American, by Graham Greene. Almost ninety years later, even in his wildest moments, Hervey caught something true that those of us more than twice his age can only bow before.

Pico Iyer, Foreword


Other Releases

The Cosmopolitan Book Co. (New York) 1927
 Grosset And Dunlap 1927
Thornton Butterworth (London) 1928
 Taylor & Francis 1928