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The Headmaster’s Wager

The Headmaster’s Wager

Author(s): Vincent Lam

Location(s): Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): Mid 20th Century

Location

Content

From internationally acclaimed and bestselling author Vincent Lam comes a superbly crafted, highly suspenseful, and deeply affecting novel set against the turmoil of the Vietnam War.

Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English school in Saigon. He is also a bon vivant, a compulsive gambler and an incorrigible womanizer. Well accustomed to bribing government officials, he is quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country. He devotedly ignores all news of conflict, choosing instead to read the faces of his opponents at high-stakes mahjong tables.

But when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival is forced to send him away. In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage, and Laing Jai, a son born to them on the eve of the Tet offensive. Percival’s new-found happiness is precarious, and as the complexities of war encroach further and further into his world.

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Lead Review

Sweeping and powerful novel that brings this era and place to stunning life. TJ –

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021