Journal article

Exile: Rupture and Continuity in Jean Vanmai's Chan Dang and Fils de Chan Dang

Tess Do

PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies | University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) | Published : 2005


This essay focuses on the work of the New Caledonian-born writer Jean Vanmai. His first two novels, Chan Dang and Fils de Chan Dang, describe the working conditions and exilic existence of the little known Chan Dang, the voluntary workers from Tonkin (North Vietnam) who moved to New Caledonia many decades ago. Descended himself from a Chan Dang family, Vanmai wishes to preserve the memory of the Chan DangDang’s past. In writing the story of the Chan Dang, Vanmai sees himself as the guardian of the Chan Dang’s collective memory, a keeper and defender of their common past. The paper argues that Vanmai's depictions of the Chan Dang have two important effects. First, by sharing with other Vietn..

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