A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Owen Butler Rothdas book review RSS
3.5 Stars

A series of sharp and well crafted short stories about South Vietnamese people coming to America. Some of the stories are humorous, some are melancholy, some are peaceful, and a surprising number involve the death of small animals. The pattern for the best of these stories is ~20 pages of somewhat innocuous setup followed by an unexpectedly emotional climax. I enjoyed them, though they suffered somewhat from not having any lasers, dragons, vampires, or lesbians. I was also a bit weirded out by the fact that the PoV characters are all South Vietnamese and somewhat exoticized, while the author's a white dude. Is this cultural appropriation? And by wondering so, have I become the thing I fear?

Edit: Nevermind! I was listening to an interview with a veteran-writer who was a 2nd-generation Vietnamese American, and he A) highly recommended this book and B) gave the author a waiver for not being Vietnamese.