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ESSAYS

Cross-cultural translations

Hanh Ngo and 'being Vietnamese'

By Laura Murray Cree

HANH NGO, china, 1999 (detail), tapestry, cotton, dimensions variable.

Hanh Ngo arrived in Australia as a refugee from South Vietnam at the age of seven, four years after the fall of Saigon in 1975. When the family was settled, Hanh's mother purchased a book that was to become pivotal in her daughter's life: Truyen Kieu or The Tale of Kieu. This eighteenth-century folk-epic poem written by Nguyen Du is a poignant expression of Vietnamese nationalism and has attracted a wealth…

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