Saigon Calling

Saigon Calling

London 1963-75

by Marcelino Truong

Translated by David Homel

Published by: Arsenal Pulp Press

280 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, Color illustrations throughout

  • Paperback
  • 9781551526898
  • Published: October 2017


Marcelino Truong's first book about the early years of the Vietnam war, the graphic memoir Such a Lovely Little War (2016), received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews and was named "one the season's best graphic novels" by the New York Times. In this sequel, young Marcelino and his family move from Saigon to London in order to escape the war following the assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem, for whom Marcelino's diplomat father was a personal interpreter.

In London, his father struggles to build a new life for his children and his wife, whose bipolar spells are becoming increasingly violent. But for Marco and his siblings, swinging London is an exciting place to be: a new world of hedonists and hippies. At the same time, the news from their grandparents in Vietnam grows ever grimmer as the war intensifies and American involvement becomes increasingly muddied. Young Marcelino finds himself conflicted between embracing the peace-loving anti-war demonstrators and the strong, sentimental bond he feels toward a wounded Vietnam, whose conflict is not as simple as the demonstrators make it out to be.

With its audacious imagery and heart-rending text, Saigon Calling is a bold graphic memoir that strikes a remarkable balance between the intimate chronicle of a family undone by mental illness, and the large-scale tragedy of a country undone by war.

Marcelino Truong is an illustrator, painter, and author. He earned degrees in law at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and English literature at the Sorbonne.