ANNAM by Christophe Bataille


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 Annam ($15.95; Sept. 30, 1996; 112 pp.; 0-8112-1330-7): This skillfully understated first novel describes in muted though harrowing detail the ordeal undergone by an expedition of French clergy sent as missionaries to Vietnam during the late-18th-century reign of Louis XVI. Orphaned by the Revolution (in effect, forgotten by their country), the uprooted monks and nuns experience both the failure of their mission and a rigorous testing of their faith. This subtle and moving roman (here beautifully translated by Richard Howard) won France's Prix du Premier Roman in 1993, when the author was 21.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1996
ISBN: 0-8112-1330-7
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: New Directions
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1996