Anna Moï, the Odyssey of memories

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Born in Saigon, Anna Moï, her first name Thiên-Nga, which means “Celestial Swan”, came to Paris in 1973. Between Vietnam and France, she built a literary work consisting of ten books, novels and essays, written in French, among which “Riz Noir”, “Esperanto, déséranto, la francophonie sans les français” or “Le venom du papillon” awarded the Literature-World prize in 2017. She has just published “Twelve memory palace ”, published by Gallimard.

Twelve Palaces of Memory © Gallimard

“A father and his six-year-old daughter, Khanh and Tiên, flee their country on a fishing boat, hoping to reach the United States. The voices of father and girl alternate, mingling memories of life with country and account of the crossing, to reconstruct the history, large and small, which brought them there. Unlike Khanh, little Tiên is unaware of the gravity of the events which condemn them to exile. Her candor and his playfulness bring a note of poetry to the drama of their situation.What got them on this boat was not only the harshness of the Communist regime that oppresses the country: it is also a heavy family secret.

A poetic and funny sea novel, sometimes tinged with melancholy. The shimmering grace of certain descriptions of places, dishes, landscapes mingles with the delicate painting of emotions and feelings. Memory is at the center of the story, the fragments of the past collide in the evocation of an existence that is chaotic and yet full of love. ” (Presentation of Gallimard editions)


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