The Lover’s House, Sa Dec, Vietnam

In Vietnam’s Mekong Delta town of Sa Dec, you will find wonderful food market and the flower markets beloved of the Vietnamese during the Tet Vietnamese New Year Festival. Less well known is the Lover’s House.

This house in all its ornate, shadowy excess, embodies the doomed days of French colonialism and provides a little window into the country’s complex history.

The Lover House is the former home of 27-year-old Huynh Thuy Le, son of a wealthy Chinese family, who had a love affair with a 15-year-old French schoolgirl in the late 1920s, early 1930s.

The young girl was Marguerite Duras who later used the experience to inspire the writing of her 1984 Prix Goncourt-winning, best-selling novel, The Lover (L’Amante) that has been translated into 43 languages and has sold 2.4 million copies.

The two began a love affair that inspired Duras’s 1984 Prix Goncourt-winning best-selling novel, The Lover (L’Amante).

My story was published in Fairfax Media’s The Sydney Morning Herald Traveller and Melbourne Age Traveller and you can see it below, or read the online version here:






About alisonstewartwriter

Alison is a writer, journalist and travel writer, born in South Africa, now living in Australia. She has had nine books published - two books for adults and seven for young people. Four of them have been translated into Italian, Danish, Dutch and Thai. Her latest project, Cold Stone Soup, an unpublished memoir about growing up under apartheid and migrating to Australia has won the FAW 2013 National Literary Awards (Jim Hamilton Award for a non-fiction manuscript). Cold Stone Soup was also runner-up in the 2010 Penguin/Varuna Scholarship. Her first book for adults, Born Into the Country (Justified Press 1988, South Africa) was shortlisted for the 1987 AA Mutual Life Vita Young Writers’ Award. Heinemann Australia published her next adult novel, Bitterbloom in 1991. Her YA novel, The Wishing Moon was shortlisted for the 1995 Australian Multicultural Children’s Award and was a 1995 Children’s Book Council Notable book. Her YA dystopia, Days Like This, published by Penguin Australia was a finalist in the inaugural 2010 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the YA category. Alison worked for years as a news and feature journalist. She is now a regular travel writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age and online Fairfax Media publications.
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