NYTBR Reviews The Man From Saigon
“There is something familiar, almost reassuringly so, about the elements of this fast-paced, vividly descriptive novel,” wrote Elizabeth Samet in this weekend’s New York Times Book Review. “The ingredients that decades ago proved so seductively vertiginous and surreally dislocating in [Apocalypse Now] flavor [The Man From Saigon]. . . . An atmosphere of deception and self-deception permeates this book. . . . Leimbach’s emphasis on a female reporter in a war that was so often covered by men is refreshing.”
Previously, the novel received a starred review in Publishers Weekly: “Leimbach (Dying Young) sets her vivid and powerful new novel in 1967 Vietnam to tell the story of Susan Gifford, a women’s magazine writer who arrives in-country to write human interest stories about the war. Instead, she ends up covering combat and finds an intense friendship with Son, a Vietnamese photographer, and an equally intense love affair with Marc, a married American journalist. During an ambush, Susan and Son are captured by the Vietcong and are marched into the jungle. When they are reported missing, Marc drops a potentially big story to find them. Meanwhile, Susan begins to suspect that Son may not be who he seems. Leimbach masterfully conjures the hothouse atmosphere of foreign correspondents in Saigon in the late 1960s, and in Susan she has created a heroine who is a worthy counterpart to the real life reporters who covered the war. Whether describing a convoy taking fire, a farcical press briefing, a quiet moment between Susan and Marc, or the ironic aftermath of Susan’s ordeal, Leimbach expertly captures the contradictions of the war, making this a solid addition to the literature of an endlessly reconsidered conflict.”
Read Leimbach’s essay for Amazon about writing the book, and visit her website.