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Title: Family wound : a novel and critical commentary
Author: Huynh, Jade Ngoc Quang
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 2729
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2005
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The novel that forms the heart of this thesis, The Family Wound, is based on the tragic life of my aunt Mai Thuy Phan. The main character struggles to find her identity in a world torn apart by war and loss. In essence, the novel is a Vietnamese saga. Mai is caught between personal family obligations and the general historical conflicts of the Vietnamese war. The central theme of the novel is the conflict between a predestined fate and the human desire to forge one's own path in life. Even though Mai's story takes place in the late twentieth century, she has much in common with older, traditional Vietnamese ways and women. It does not matter how hard Mai fights against the odds, she cannot break free from the cycle of her lot in life. She has been victimized by war and bounded by the harsh cultures and traditions which have oppressed Vietnamese women for centuries. The novel not only dramatises the main protagonist's experiences and perceptions of Vietnam, but also illuminates Vietnamese life and social structures. Following the novel is a commentary setting out the historical and personal circumstances of the author. This is done in part to draw out the linkages between the author and the novel's heroine, and between the novel and other Vietnamese writings. In turn this helps explain the larger significance of the novel's title. While the image of 'family' wound initially refers to the way in which Mai's family is harmed by the events of war and separation, its more symbolic meaning has to do with the wound inflicted upon the human family by the barbarous actions of all involved in the Vietnamese conflict. Underlying the novel is a sense of the need to bring peoples together to heal such wounds. The novel closes with Mai becoming a Buddhist nun: her journey is one of the spirit, not of the flesh.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available