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Female Vietnamese novelist, screenwriter and dissident. Her works, which are all unavailable in Vietnam, include:

Paradise of the Blind (1988) A Vietnamese guest worker in Russia has flashbacks about how her family suffered in the 1953-1956 land redistribution program, and how different members with different motivations responded

Novel without a Name (1991) A demobilised North Vietnam soldier recalls the horror of war, and wonders about the corrupt country that came out of the pyrrhic victory.

Memories of a Pure Spring (2000) A musician, once with revolutionary aspirations, is sacked after liberation when his former mates become corrupt apparatchiks. He is caught on a boat fleeing Vietnam, sent to a re-education camp and whose attempted suicide causes him to reconcile with his estranged family.

Beyond Illusions (2002) A young woman discovers that her corrupt husband is too much of a yes man to authority for her to take, and she divorces him. Other people she meets turn out to have equally fickle backbones and ulterior motives, and eventually she learns only she can control her own destiny.

Huong was born in 1947 in Thai Binh, central Vietnam. She led a Communist Youth Brigade entertainment detachment during the Vietnam War (and was only one of three out of fourty members who survived), and later during Vietnam's border skirmishes with China in 1979. However she later became a critic of Vietnam's oppressive government and climate of censorship, leading to her expulsion from the Communist Party in 1989, and later was imprisoned without trial for nine months after Paradise of the Blind was illegally published overseas. A personal appeal by Francois Mitterand's wife got her off the hook, but since 1995 she has been banned from leaving the country.

Mind you she is not completely cut off from the outside world as you might think. In 1997 I found her phone number in the Hanoi telephone directory and had a nice chat to her.

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