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Vietnamese Memories Vol.1

Leaving Saigon

Colonialism and war disrupted the lives of millions of Vietnamese people during the 20th century. These are their stories.

Clement Baloup intimately traces the paths of those who went to great lengths to seek asylum in unfamiliar lands, and against all odds, established prosperous communities rooted in the colorful culture and experiences of their past, while fostering a future unhindered by the political and personal turmoil that haunts their pasts.

Clement Baloup entered Angoulême’s prestigious Beaux-Arts Program in 1997 and spent the next five years enriching both his perception and practice of sequential storytelling. In 2004 he published his first comic book, Autumn in Hanoi, a mix of travel log and short stories. Clement has gone on to become a versatile creator: besides his more personal graphic novels (the Vietnamese Memories trilogy) which he both wrote and illustrated, he has written stories in a variety of genres, illustrated by other artists such as Chinh Tri (Le Seuil), La Concubine Rouge (Gallimard), both with Mathieu Jiro, Suicide Club (Soleil) with Eddy Vaccaro, or Le ventre de la Hyène (Lombard) with Chris Alliel, to name a few. His work has been translated into English, Spanish, Italian, German and can be regularly found in magazines as XXI (France) or Internazionale (Italy). Additionally, his works as a fine artist have entered several private and public collections around the world (Marseille, Paris, Bruxelles, Dubaï and London). Clement was awarded numerous prizes for his series Vietnamese Memories, including the Jury’s Choice Prize at the 2011 Angoulême International Comics Festival and the Doctors Without Borders Prize in Clermont-Ferrand.

The second part of Vietnamese Memories: Leaving Saigon, "Linh Tho,"​ is based on a true story inspired by Pierre Daum’s 4-year investigation, published as a non-fiction novel under the name Immigrés de Force (The Forced Immigrants, Éditions Actes Sud, 2009), which chronicled the fate of 20,000 Indochinese workers displaced during World War II. His book triggered a major call to action, encouraging many French cities to restore and honor the memory of those long-forgotten immigrants. Pierre Daum is currently focused on deep investigative journalism.

"Vibrant. . . . these stories give human faces to the effects of colonialism and war in the Vietnamese diaspora." - Publishers Weekly ""Baloup is a master of making scenery come alive and placing his subjects within them..."" - COMICS BEAT "“A good addition to the growing canon of forgotten voices finally speaking out.”" - NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS

More books from this author: Clément Baloup