The Song of Kieu

The Song of Kieu

A New Lament


Ever since it exploded into Vietnam's cultural life two centuries ago, The Song of Kieu has been one of that nation's most beloved and defining central myths. It recounts the tragic fate of the beautiful singer and poet Kieu, who agrees to marry to save her family from debt but is tricked into working in a brothel. Over the course of a swift-moving story involving kidnap, war, jealous wives and rebel heroes, she will become a queen, wife, nun, slave, victim and avenger, surviving through the strength of her words and her wits alone.

Translated with an introduction by Timothy Allen


  • 'Tim Allen's new translation of THE SONG OF KIEU is lively and absorbing. It reinvigorates a classic and wonderfully conveys the romance, adventure, tragedy, and wisdom of the poem that all Vietnamese know.'
    Viet Thanh Nguyen

About the author

Nguyen Du

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