The translator Elbert Bloom
I lived and worked in Vietnam many years ago on a United States Government contract. During that time I made an effort to learn the Vietnamese culture and language.
I returned to the United States in 1972, pursued my career and raised a family. During my years in Vietnam, however, I developed a fondness for the country and the people which I have never forgotten.
Now that my children are all grown up and have families of their own I have time once again to satiate my passion for Vietnam.
One day not so long ago I was searching the internet for some Vietnamese stories that I could read to refresh my knowledge of the language. I found a short story written by Duong Thuy which I liked, translated to English with the aid of a dictionary, and emailed to her.
Well, Duong Thuy liked my translation and answered me. Then I began reading more of her stories and liked every one of them, for each story reminded me of some experience in my own life. In addition, each story carried a message about this life we all need to learn.
I began translating other stories by Duong Thuy, and thus a friendship from opposite ends of both the world and life was born.