Vincent Lam was the Canadian writer who won the Giller Prize for his short story collection a few years ago. And even though there were predictions that he would be the next big thing in Canadian literature, he was not heard of until now.
In between, he wrote a book about influenza prevention which made many people re-think about the literary expectations. But it seems that the writer is back with a bang and has written a critically acclaimed first novel with the name of The Headmaster’s Wager.
The story is about the Vietnam War and happens to be very personal to Lam, his origins being Vietnamese. Many people consider this to be one of the best novels written about the Vietnam War.
Lam has been working on this novel for years and has finally been able to complete it recently. He said that it has been a long struggle and at times, it felt as if this entire thing was a horrible drag.
But to give up was even more horrible and humiliating and so he continued. Besides, writing was not all he had to do.
Being a doctor by profession, he also had to work two shifts in the emergency room and had to take care of three kids.
A lot of time he had to face complete writers block but eventually managed to pull the entire thing off. The novel very masterfully depicts the lives of the average people ofVietnamand how they were affected by the disasters of war.
As a child, Lam used to hear the stories of war and the generation that saw war from his parents who lived inNepean, Ont. As he grew up, he read more war novels and eventually felt a need to write a novel about the circumstances surrounding the Vietnam War.
The central character of the novel is a Chinese immigrant who finds himself immersed in the war ridden country. Emotionally and visually, this can be considered to be one of the very best novels written on the subject, and certainly the breakthrough novel of the young doctor.