The writers’ writer

Khai Q Nguyen

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Photograph: Nic Shonfeld

Nguyen Binh Phuong’s office is situated in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, enveloped in the nostalgic atmosphere of the surrounding French colonial architecture and the hustle and bustle of its ancient streets. We met in his wood-lined room on the second floor of the building, overlooking the front garden with frangipani flowering. He greeted me, and with childlike joviality, told me that he had just finished a new novel. As his Vietnamese editor at Nha Xuat Ban Tre (Youth Publishing House) for four years, I’m on familiar terms through our correspondence.

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