Media Inquiries:

Kelly March

kelly@eastoverpress.com

EASTOVER PRESS
Rochester, MA 02770

All the Rivers Flow into the Sea
& Other Stories

WINNER OF EASTOVER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2021  

Ha writes with an intimacy not often seen. The small bits of these characters’ lives become filled with meaning and significance. His stories and sentences flow together slowly and then seamlessly become something powerful. The language he chooses isn’t so much flowery as precise and sharply detailed, reminiscent of Joyce’s epiphany or the satori moment from Japanese literature. Each story is its own being, yet the whole works together to become something larger, universal.”
—The US Review of Books



book

“. . . a beautiful anthology of stories of love,            
passion, and kindness.”            

—Readers’ Favorite       





Libraries strong in literary short works that cultivate cultural inspections, as well as those interested in stories of Vietnam’s people and places, should place All the Rivers Flow into the Sea & Other Stories high on their reading lists.”—Midwest Book Review






“Extraordinarily skilled at prose compression, Ha writes short stories where a sentence often does the work of a page. On this level, Ha gives us a masterclass in building tension but realist in detail in the way it calibrates mystery and anxiety whilst full of the echoes of what might have been. —Book Viral

“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.”
—William Shakespeare






Khanh Ha is the author of Flesh and The Demon Who Peddled Longing. He is an seven-time Pushcart nominee, finalist for The Ohio State University Fiction Collection Prize, 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, The Orison Anthology Award for Fiction, The James Knudsen Prize for Fiction, The C&R Press Fiction Prize, and The EastOver Fiction Prize. His new novel, Mrs. Rossi’s Dream, was named Best New Book by Booklist and a 2019 Foreword Reviews INDIES Silver Winner and Bronze Winner.






    Never in my life had I been to a university writing workshop where I would have learned the mechanics of writing. It made me think of auto mechanics. “There are three rules for the writing of a novel,” Somerset Maugham once said. “Unfortunately no one knows what they are.” I paid a day of my weekly salary to attend a literary seminar conducted by editors and authors from venerable publishing houses. “No one can teach you writing,” a host said from the podium. “You have to learn it yourself.” I went home and started my novel that night. I wrote in the wee hours, night after night, like a snail that sleepwalked, if snails ever slept. And dreamed of immortality. Every night I sat down to write, I chanted the Lotus Sutra, Were you with murderous intent, thrust within a fiery furnace. In between I would stroke a statuette of the Laughing Buddha carved out of jackfruit, burnished brown, on my desk.

    The night I reached the end of my novel I leaned back in my chair, light-headed. Not empty. Grateful. I rubbed the Laughing Buddha’s shaved head, worn now to a soft sheen. It had been several years. Then in the room’s soft bluish light I heard a tiny voice, as if coming from the Laughing Buddha: Do you wish for immortality? No, I said. Feeling mortal and simple.






    Who are you?




      Born in Hue, Vietnam





      Studied at Ohio University






      At work on self-healing






    So you’re a writer?

    I am an obscure, doubly obscure, novelist.” Just quoted Vladimir Nabokov. Except that he has an unpronounceable name.


    Your own rules for writing fiction?

    Rule number one: discipline—find that solitude so you can meet your characters. Then make that rendezvous with ghosts every day or every night with no excuses. Rule number two: write one scene well and that scene would breed the next scene. Rule number three: leave room for readers to participate. Rule number four: stop where you still have something to say. Rule number five: read each day to keep your mind off your own writing. Rule number six—don’t believe in any rules except yours.


    Advice for your readers?

    Don’t take anything you read seriously. When you do, when it really knocks you out, “you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” Don’t you love a reader like Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye?



“I have spread my dreams beneath your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
—William Butler Yeats





“No two stories are the same and yet the human condition is universal. In the minutiae of life can be found the most profound sadness and the most buoyant life.Such are the writings of this author. That's what makes him such an astounding writer. You can only stand in awe of such masterful prose.”—Goodreads (starred review)

“A whirlwind of a book that will leave you breathless, 'All the Rivers Flow Into the Sea,' by Khanh Ha is the kind of collection that short story lovers dream about. . . . This is an absolutely beautiful piece of literature that should be thought of as a modern classic.”—Goodreads (starred review)

“. . . reality at its best. A truly magnificent piece of work with a deserving five-stars!”—Goodreads (starred review)

“Ha’s prose is so clear and vivid, whether describing a dying soldier’s wounds or local flora and fauna, and his message is so powerfully understated that this beautifully written novel should have a place alongside the best fiction of the Vietnam War.”—Booklist (starred review)

All the Rivers Flow into the Sea is an extraordinary collection. The stories are fully rendered and finely nuanced, populated with vibrant characters shaped by war or haunted by tragedy. Their voices are as vivid as the landscapes the author conjured, at once exotic yet intimately familiar, all bound by threads of love and compassion. This is one of those rare collections I would keep and read again.”—Andrew X. Pham, winner of Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize and finalist of the The National Book Critics Circle Awards

“Lush with natural detail and alive with crisp dialogue, in an unforgettable journey where cultures clash in affairs of the heart.”—John Balaban, recipient of The Academy of American Poets’ Lamont Prize and William Carlos Williams Award

“This book was finely written, evoking the feeling of sitting in a library full of old, old books, thumbing through the crinkly pages of a treasure you hadn’t hoped to find. . . . The highlight of this collection is the writing itself. The writing is intriguing and at times haunting, each story bringing its own little morsel of flavor to the plate that is this collection.”—Reedsy Discovery

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream shows the power of literary expression over even memorable cinema such as Francis Ford Coppola’s bloody Apocalypse Now (1979), a Vietnam update of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, or the blistering interview-based documentary series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, The Vietnam War. Khanh Ha’s novel triumphs in doing what film cannot: creating scenes that rely on all the senses.”—Joan Baum (The Independent)

“Khanh Ha’s writing is breathtaking, and his grasp of metaphor and plot are masterful. Although these stories are dark at times, there is, just like in life, an overall notion of joy that brings it into the light. ”—Bookgirl86

“Author Khanh Ha brings both the beauty and tragedy of Vietnam to life in this sensitive and realistic portrayal of what goes on in wartime. . . . Character development is the hinge on which this highly emotive plot rests. . . . a must-read for fans of emotive drama and personal narrative fiction.”—Readers’s Favorite (starred review)

“Evocative, mysterious, and lovely, this is a remarkable book, for the beauty of the writing, the compassion for all the characters on any side.”—Judith Shepard, co-publisher and editor-in-chief of The Permanent Press

“Narrators Feodor Chin and Andrew Eiden are the perfect counterpoints for this Vietnam-era historical novel . . . Chin creates a raspy, Asian-accented English voice for Giang, which helps us picture the aged man he has become. Eiden makes the most of the mystery surrounding Nicola’s death and disappearance. Those who follow this period of history will enjoy learning about the personal nature of the conflict from these well-delivered performances.”—AudioFile

“Because through author Khanh Ha’s superb writing and excellence with the sense of environment, the sense of spirit(s), the listener is transported into a couple of living hells. . . . The details are mesmerizing, adding so much to the narrative, to the experiences of our characters. One is transported to a different country with new foods and smells. And one is most certainly transported to hellholes that seethe with fire and slaughter which, however senseless through the lens of history, is actually oh so necessary at the time.

Feodor Chin and Andrew Eiden, along with Ha’s deliberate pacing and marvelous development of characters as they grow and come together, and with an ending that’ll leave you stunned and weeping.”
—Audiobook Accomplice

“I read Mrs. Rossi’s Dream with a sense of awe, that one novel could answer so many lingering questions we’ve had about the tragedy of the Vietnam war and the men and women who suffered so greatly on both sides.”—Dan Pope, author of Housebreaking, Simon and Schuster

“Khanh Ha’s Mrs. Rossi’s Dream is an elegiac, yet totally involving tale of retrieving one’s soul from the chaos of the past. The writing is crisply compelling, the story embracing, and the moral principles at the heart of the novel life-affirming.”—Chris Knopf, award winning novelist

“Richly sensory, gorgeously descriptive, harrowingly disturbing, and beautifully told, Khanh Ha’s Mrs. Rossi’s Dream brings to life a different side of Vietnam—not just the war (though this should surely be a must-read for anyone wanting to see the different sides of conflict), but also the aftermath of peace. . . . Khanh Ha’s novel is hauntingly real, embracing the reader with vivid detail and refusing to let go.”—Sheila’s Reviews

“Gritty and believable . . . Difficult to put down.”—Moon City Review

“A beautiful story about a mother’s love for her son and the lengths that she will go to in order to find him. . . . Khanh Ha’s descriptions of the Vietnam countryside were so achingly beautiful that I felt myself being swept away by this book. His realistic depictions of the war are heartbreaking and gut-wrenching. . . . I have to recommend this to anyone reading this review but make sure to clear time in your schedule as you won’t be able to put it down!”—Goodreads (starred review)

“A spectacular story with an incredibly haunting narrative. . . . What a phenomenal novel. The use of setting and atmosphere made it seem almost other-worldly. There was a very peaceful and almost romantic sense of calm when the author was describing the landscape that made me feel really compelled to keep reading.”—Christine’s Book Corner

“The characters were all so fully realized and fleshed out that I felt as though I was having a real conversation with them as I read along. At times it was like I’d stepped into the book and was having tea or traveling through the dense jungle with them. . . . What a moving and thrilling novel this turned out to be! Definitely a five-star novel.”—Toot’s Book Reviews

“It is a book about a group of characters who are tortured and influenced by the past in many ways. . . . I found this book to be a worthwhile and fascinating read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well written novel. . . . I don’t give out a 5-star review very often, but this book deserves that plus so much more.”—Bound4Escape Book Reviews

“Poignant . . . I believe that this is the best he’s written so far and I will certainly look forward to reading his next book.”—Nancy Oakes (Reading Avidly)

“A book I cannot put down and I loved how the author invites us to the lives of the two main characters of the book, coupled with the love of a mother who relentlessly searches for the remains of her dead son. A five star for this book.”—International Book Promotion

“Never in my life have I read such a stunning portrayal of Vietnam. The countryside, the cities, the people, the culture, everything was so exquisitely portrayed in this novel that I found myself gasping at some of the descriptions.

Khanh Ha’s version of 1980’s and 1960’s Vietnam was a place that was both naturally beautiful and mercilessly gritty.

This novel is the kind of book that only comes around every once in a long while and the kind that you find yourself thinking about for years to come.”
—Mythical Books

“You cannot understand the IndoChina War by reading American authors. You need to read Vietnamese authors who were there; and first and foremost: Mrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh Ha.

This novel—Mrs. Rossi’s Dream—is painful in its beauty and coverage. The reader is there, on the ground with the life and death of not just the Americans, but their Vietnamese allies and the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong troops. This is the most realistic and close to the bone recounting that I’ve read about the ground war in Vietnam.

Please, read it. We are farther away in time from the end of the Vietnam war than was the time from the beginning of WWI and the end of WWII.

Please do not forget us. Mrs. Rossi hasn’t.”
—D. F. Shafer

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream is filled with images of beauty and horror.
. . . The landscape and its inhabitants seem to inhabit a space beyond time, a space claimed by loss. The devastation wrecked on culture and individuals, rivers and sentient creatures of all kinds: it creates a density and tactility that connects present-day survivors with those lost in the past.

If pressed to suppose one motivation on the part of the author, in telling not only this story but those in his earlier novels, I would guess it is compassion which drives these words onto the page. In turn, these words on the page can incite compassion in attentive readers.”
—Marcie McCauley (Buried in Print)

“Khanh Ha has a literary style that is fresh and so nuanced. He takes a deep dive into his characters and subject. A Vietnamese American, he was a child in Vietnam when the war broke out. I think this experience adds to his style. He has a dreamylike quality that most likely comes from being a young child when he lived in Nam. There are common themes of loneliness, love, longing, compassion, and brutality in his books.

His writing is beautiful even when writing about brutality. . . . The characters haunt me and I just can’t stop thinking about them. . . . Mrs. Rossi’s Dream is a must read for both literary fiction lovers and readers who enjoy books that take place in Vietnam.”
—Teddy Rose Book Reviews

“A multi-layered story that leaves a lasting impression . . . Ha is one of the best writers in this genre and his novels always leave the reader with a great deal to think about—especially when it comes to American preconceptions about the Vietnam War. I never say “no” to reading Ha’s books, and this, his third, is the best yet.”—Savvy Verse & Wit




Books



    “. . . grace and power in this collection.”—Wayne Karlin



    “Because through author Khanh Ha’s superb writing and excellence with the sense of environment, the sense of spirit(s), the listener is transported into a couple of living hells. . . . The details are mesmerizing, adding so much to the narrative, to the experiences of our characters. One is transported to a different country with new foods and smells. And one is most certainly transported to hellholes that seethe with fire and slaughter which, however senseless through the lens of history, is actually oh so necessary at the time.”—Audiobook Accomplice

    AUDIO BOOK


    Mrs. Rossi's Dream (Blackstone Audio)




    The Demon Who Peddled Longing is more than a novel, more than the story of a boy and his journey into adulthood; it is a showpiece of modern literature, offering its readers a visually stunning experience, with the assistance of the author's impressive descriptive writing style. This is the kind of book that pays tribute to the reader instead of the author, kind of like the ones that gave birth to the theory of reading back in the 1960s, a poetic portrayal of a journey that peddles longing, bravery, tragedy, love, and most of all, the rite of passage into adulthood.

    “By making his book appeal to all types of readers, from philosophy lovers to fans of coming-of-age novels, Khanh Ha has created a magnum opus that will only be enhanced by the passing of years.”
    Readers’ Favorite




    “A lyrical masterpiece by a debut author. . . . A work that reads like a song, imagery is beautiful in this novel, and will have you picturing this world long after you put the book down.”—Seize the Moment

    Short Stories


      Award-Winner


      Two Shores (Blackwater Press Prize for Fiction)
      Night, This River (James Knudsen Prize for Fiction)
      Heartbreak Grass (Robert Watson Literary Prize in Fiction)
      The Woman-Child (Orison Anthology Award for Fiction)
      The Scent of Apples (The Sand Hills Prize for Best Fiction)

      Pushcart Nominee


      A Silent Lullaby (Red Savina Review)
      The Blue-Ghost Fireflies (Red Savina Review)
      Run River Run (Yellow Medicine Review)
      Diary of a Mute Girl (Solstice Journal)
      The Drifter’s Final Destination (Provo Canyon Review)
      The Yin-Yang Market (Lunch Ticket)
      The Orphan Child (Roundabout Press)

      Best Indie Lit Nominee


      The Quest (Printer’s Devil Review)

      Others


      Destination Unknown (Cutleaf Journal)
      Diary of a Mute Girl (novel excerpt) (Solstice Journal)
      A Bridge Behind (Eastlit)
      The Eunuch’s Daughter (Poydras Review)
      My Name is Chiyo (The Bosphorus Review of Books)
      All the Rivers Flow into the Sea (Thrice Fiction)
      The Leper Colony (Thrice Fiction)
      The Sandpiper’s Tracks (Writing Tomorrow)
      The Woman on the Plain (Cigale Literary Magazine)
      The Name of Sorrow (Ducts)
      A Yellow Rose for the Sinner (Red Savina Review)
      The Devil’s Mask (Squawk Back)
      The Red Fox (Zymbol)
      The Dream Catcher (ARDOR)
      Of Dust and Butterfly (Glint Literary Journal)
      The General Is Sleeping (Red Earth Review)
      Another Realm (Military Experience & The Arts)
      Twelve Human Spleens (Military Experience & The Arts)
      The Children of Icarus (Mount Hope)
      Red Rose, Yellow Rose (Saint Ann’s Review)
      Softly Come Her Steps (The Literary Yard)
      Thy Name Is Death (Underground Voices)
      A Far Place Called Home (Waccamaw Journal)
      The Lady of Dien Bien Phu and the Senegalese Giant
          (Waccamaw Journal)
      The Orphan Child (Artful Dodge; reprint in Belletrist Journal)
      The Remains of Her Son (Crack the Spine)
      The Virgin’s Mole (Drunk Monkeys)
      The Afterworld of Samuel Rossi (Long Story Magazine)
      A Mother’s Tale (Louisiana Literature)
      The Snake Catcher’s Son (Mobius)
      The River of White Water Lilies (Moon City Press)
      Mrs. Rossi’s Dream (Ocotillo Review)
      The Drifter, The Hooker, and The Girl Photographer
          (Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine)
      The American Prisoner (Permafrost Magazine;
           reprint in The Missing Slate)
      One Wish (Quarterly Literary Review Singapore)
      The Bones of Her Son (Seven Circles Press)
      The Red-Devil Tattoo (StorySouth)
      Mother (Sugar Mule)
      Love Is a Souvenir (FRiGG Magazine)
      Size-Twelve Boots (Viet National Magazine)
      The Woman in the U Minh Forest (The Sea Letter)
      Sleeping Beauty (Verdad)
      All the Pretty Little Horses (The Museum of Americana)
      Moths to the Flame (Cagibi)
      The Yin World of Love (Superstition Review)
      The Weaver of Dien Bien Phu (Evening Street Press)
      Black Shoes (The Opiate)
      The Silence of Knowing (TAYO Literary Magazine)
      Of Bones and Lust (The Missing Slate)
      A Mute Girl’s Yarn (Blue Mesa Review)

      Awards


        THE INAUGURAL EASTOVER PRIZE FOR FICTION
        “. . . memorable start to finish and full of elegant and beautifully rendered stories. . . . perfectly crafted sentences which, over the course of each story, create a tonal affect not unlike listening to a prized album for the first time.”—EastOver Press

        THE JAMES KNUDSEN PRIZE FOR FICTION
        “. . . Astonishing facility with the language. . . . This was so expertly done. One of those stories that evokes both admiration and a little envy.”— Judge Stephanie Soileau

        THE SAND HILLS PRIZE FOR BEST FICTION

        ROBERT WATSON LITERARY PRIZE IN FICTION
        “The vote was unanimous: We want this exceptional story in The Greensboro Review.”— James Clark, Editor Emeritus

        THE ORISON ANTHOLOGY AWARD FOR FICTION

        C & R PRESS FICTION PRIZE
        “A decided favorite among readers and the unanimous choice. We could go on but A Mother’s Tale is poignant, illustrates a tremendous understanding of voice, and, while casting a sharp eye on the tragedy of war, is hauntingly beautiful in many ways.”—C & R Editorial Board

        Foreword Reviews INDIES Silver Winner and Bronze Winner

        Finalist for The Ohio State University Fiction Collection Prize, The Mary McCarthy Prize, Many Voices Project, Prairie Schooner Book Prize, The University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize, The William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Award

        Interviews

      

“A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses.”
—Chinese proverb


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