As mentioned in an earlier post, in late 2016 I had a chance to go back and visit Việt-Nam, my ancestral homeland. It was my first trip back in over four decades, and it touched me deeply. And so, upon my return to America, I immediately set aside all other projects to start recapturing the memories of that visit before they slipped away.
Now, a year later, I’m ecstatic to report that the work is finally done. On Saturday November 18, 2017, my travelogue of Việt-Nam, titled Rain Falling on Tamarind Trees, will be released on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all online bookstores, in paperback and eBook editions. It can be previewed before that date on most of these sites, and I hope you will take a minute to check it out.
The travelogue is illustrated with over forty photographs. Due to the high costs of color printing (for paperback) and wireless delivery (for eBook), I was limited in how many pictures to include and how long to make the book, in order to keep it reasonably priced. However, I believe I managed to include essential historical and cultural background of all the places we had visited on the trip: my former hometown of Sài-Gòn in the south; Hội-An, the best preserved medieval port in Southeast Asia; Huế, the ancient capital of imperial Việt-Nam, on the central coast; Hạ-Long Bay, a world-renowned natural wonder; and Hà-Nội, the country’s thousand-year-old capital, in the north. Wherever appropriate, I was also happy to share my personal reminiscences.
If you have visited Việt-Nam before, there’s a good chance you’ve made a stop at some of those special locales; the book will refresh your own memories of them. If you haven’t been there, I hope the book will give you an intimate glimpse of this tropical land, which shall always remain near and dear to my heart. And if you happen to have read Once upon a Mulberry Field, you’ll be able to retrace some of Roger’s and Liên’s footsteps around Sài-Gòn and get a feel for Huế, the hometown of beautiful Elise.
It’s such a thrill for me to be able to share this exciting news with you. As always, thank you for letting me be part of your reading adventures, and for your friendship and support.
A footnote about eBooks: I’ve always recognized their convenience and their important role in the growth of general readership, but to this day I’ve personally remained partial to print books. There’s just something special about holding a physical book in my hands, turning it over to the back cover, or leafing through the printed pages in anticipation. But with Rain Falling on Tamarind Trees, I discover a feature unique to eBooks that makes me sit up and nod my head in awe:
By first selecting then clicking again on any picture embedded in the book, I find that I can pull it out from the text and display it by itself in all its colorful (or black-and-white, depending on your e-reader) glory, much as I would a stand-alone picture a friend has just texted or emailed to me. How amazing! Of course, the full benefit of this feature is best enjoyed on a high-resolution color screen, which nowadays comes available with just about any cell phone, tablet, or e-reader; free apps provided by most eBook vendors (Kindle, Apple, Nook, Kobo) now allow these digital books to be read across various reading devices.