By Elizabeth Rush
Illustrations by Nghia Cuong Nguyen
“When the crickets call and the wind is still and the water buffalo all are sleeping,” take a night journey through the streets of Hanoi with an artist who is searching for the city’s Red River. Wafted by dreams that soar like “a hundred white birds,” wander through a city that is stilled and softened by darkness; savor the syrupy fragrance of blossom-filled trees and the music of a cake seller’s song. Learn that “everything we love we carry within,” and hold that thought close while falling asleep. This bilingual story with its surreal and playful paintings is a beautiful addition to the Alphabetical World Series.
Elizabeth Rush has collaborated with contemporary artists throughout Southeast Asia for the better half of the last decade. Hanoi won her heart for a number of years. Something about Pho Cuon on Truc Bach lake, motorcycle rides into the highlands, handmade puppets, and hearty Hanoians made her laugh, made her cry, made her stay. Plus giant plastic swan paddle boats! Who doesn’t love those? Elizabeth has written for a number of publications including Granta, Le Monde Diplomatique, frieze, Asian Geographic, Project Freerange, and Asian Art News. Her book, Still Lifes from a Vanishing City, a collection of photographs and essays on Yangon, Myanmar is forthcoming with ThingsAsian Press.
Nguyen Nghia Cuong
Playing with life, playing with paper, fun loving artist Nguyen Nghia Cuong portrays life at its fullest, richest, poorest, happiest, and quietest. The full range of human expression spills forth with abandon from Cuong’s brush. Whenever I start painting, I think I am flying a kite: it keeps my balance while helping my mind to soar,” Cuong says. He has exhibited far and wide, even on the moon!
2013, 6 1/2 x 10 inches; 48 pages; hardcover; color images