The "Kim Van Kieu" of Nguyen Du (1765–1820)
Translated by Vladislav Zhukov
Introduction by K. W. Taylor
The "Kim Van Kieu" of Nguyen Du, written in the early nineteenth century and commonly considered to be a defining masterpiece of Vietnamese literature, is the story of an educated and beautiful young woman who suffers misfortune and degradation before obtaining justice and peace. It is a long poem in a complex metric and rhyme scheme that is distinctively Vietnamese. Vladislav Zhukov here provides the first English-language translation, perfectly conveying the poetic form of the original work and thereby producing a literary creation in English that is equivalent to Nguyen Du's genius in Vietnamese—one that can be appreciated as poetry in English.