Rights offering detail :
Dec. 7, 2022
David Shipler
Fiction: General/Other
From Pulitzer Prize–winning author David Shipler: Set in Vietnam before and after the end of the war, Buffalo Boy is based on the true story of a Vietnamese translator who is wounded—not physically—by a love of country too pure for the contaminated choices that confront him. Dragged by an inner search, he has wandered among the neat categories of allegiance imposed by Vietnam’s lifetime of warfare and foreign occupation. As a boy, he guided Japanese snipers against the French through the nighttime alleys of Hanoi, tried to join the Viet Minh, then as a man survived a South Vietnamese prison, helped plotters of a failed coup, translated for an American general, and has now landed as an interpreter for an American newspaper.
But he fits into none of the available boxes, not the Communist box, not the Government box, not the pro-American box, not the one containing the assortment of political dissidents who populate the shadowy warrens of Saigon. He finds no home with either the tortured or the torturers. Instead, he tries to interpret Vietnam, through an evolving comradeship with an American correspondent, to distant, weary audiences who barely listen anymore. He commits a futile betrayal against the correspondent’s wife, an artist who interprets in her way as she draws faces. He harbors a secret. He clings to a simple nobility, he believes, as an authentic Vietnamese of transcendent patriotism, and so he keeps his footing in the whirlwind of panic as Saigon falls. By refusing an offer to escape with his family to the US, he consigns his future to an intricate, stumbling dance with the victorious Communist regime.

This man is fictionalized, but he is not alone in the world. His torment is a hidden story not only of Vietnam but of the hundreds like him who have interpreted their war-torn countries for the foreigners who fuel the fighting with weapons and blood.
Rights available:
All rights available.
Other Information:
David Shipler won the Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land.
Anne-Lise Spitzer
Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency, Inc.
phone: (631)329-3650
fax: (631) 329-3651
Offering #:
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