After ‘I am Dau’, published in 2007, ‘Nguoc chieu vun vut’ shows impressive progress in the writer’s command of Vietnamese and a deeper understanding of the local culture.
The book includes 70 essays divided according to his feelings while he was writing – of anger, happiness or regret.
Most of his essays have already been published in local newspapers, magazines and in his blog for the past four years.
Ruelle, though, edited and revised his writing to update his improved grasp of the Vietnamese language.
This explains why his essays are not arranged in chronological order or titles – but are set via his emotions.
The style of writing suggests Ruelle loves his adopted nation as much as local people.
The book covers the increasing appeal of expatriates moving toVietnam as well as the huge flow of Vietnamese venturing overseas.
Published by Nha Nam Books, the book was praised by well-known director and writer Le Hoang who said the author is ‘a Westerner who writes better than Vietnamese.”
Arriving in Vietnam a decade ago, Ruelle, who is fromBritish Columbia, Canada and received his Bachelor of Arts from the Canadian Acadia University in 2002, landed a research position with Unicef Vietnam the same year.
During his three years with Unicef, he studied Vietnamese at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities.
In 2006, he started his own blog in Vietnamese in which he documented his life as an expat in Hanoi with stories and humorous observations of the local culture.
The blog quickly grabbed the attention of the then growing online community in Vietnam and attracted nearly 10 million hits in less than two years.
It became a syndicated column and a best-selling paperback (I am Dau) and he later appeared in TV dramas, sitcoms, game shows and even co-hosted a nationally-broadcast teen-debate show for two years.
He referred to himself as Dau, a Vietnamese word play on his English name pronounced ‘zo’ and meaning ‘Berry’.
Source: The Saigon Times