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Three Women of Annan
   


  ISBN : 9789748434858
  WL Order Code :  E22722
  Price :  US$18.00
  Bangkok, 2018
  220 pp., 145 x 210 mm. pbk. Weight  0.290 kg
  Chivas-Baron, Clothilde; Three Women of Annan
: Womanhood in 1920S Vietnam
   
 
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Three Women of Annam. Womanhood in 1920s Vietnam was written by a French feminist of the early hours. She tells the story of three local women, contrasting their destinies as they belonged to different social strata. They are the daughter of a high-placed official called against her will to the imperial palace, a peasant woman ending in a city sweatshop due to the usury of a Chinese shop-keeper, and a so-called congaie, an indigenous woman in consecutive relationships with French colonial officials. The last of these women lives the most precarious, although intermittently rich, life. In status barely beyond life on the streets as a prostitute, she often has mixed-breed offspring that suffer a discrimination that perpetuates the near-abhorence of Asians for the foreign devils. The migrant to the city is tempted by the luxury associated with being a Frenchman’s local wife. The noble woman’s life, while in appearance the least difficult, has its own problems as a satisfactory emotional life escapes her in the face of absolute power. Prominent is the inner debate women have to conduct when confronted with the possibility of joining French wealth in the face of their own Annamese poverty. The destinies are plotted into timeless love-stories, happy-end included. In passing, the author offers glimpses of the daily life of French colonials, colonial delights such as opium, the pervasive role of Vietnamese ancestor worship, the stigma of a childless marriage, second wives, and the populace’s fears and superstitions, in a Vietnam occupied by the French.
 

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