Spotlight on: Banyan Moon by Thao Thai


Thao Thai, photo credit the author

The seed of Banyan Moon was an image of a locked trunk I used to see in my mind, from a Bluebeard-like folk tale my mother used to tell me as a child. I come from a great line of storytellers and we’d often spend evenings listening to the stories of my family’s lives or the tales that’d be handed down to them over the generations. Folklore has always felt to me as less of a practice, and more of a space of the imagination that you can return to. The shared, communal aspect of a folk tale, as well as its oral nature, creates a different sort of narrative magic that can feel larger and more epic than other storytelling modes. One day I’ll tell my daughter the same folk tales I was told as a child, and I imagine it’ll feel like a sort of homecoming. ― Thao Thai, Interview, Indies Introduce

Banyan Moon by Thao Thai

What booksellers are saying about Banyan Moon

  • I loved this beautiful and expansive debut from Thao Thai! Spanning across timelines and continents, Banyan Moon is gorgeous story of mothers and daughters.
      ― Lindsay Lynch from Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN | Buy from Parnassus

  • In Banyan Moon, debut novelist Thao Thai weaves together stories from three generations of Vietnamese Americans into a stunning story about the power of secrets, loss and hope, the unknown and unexplained. The house serves as its own mysterious character, working to reunite and reforge the bonds of family. This will undoubtedly be a favorite of 2023! 
      ― Beth Seufer Buss from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC | Buy from Bookmarks Books

  • Banyan Moon is a beautiful and atmospheric novel that highlights the complexity of mother-daughter relationships while also shining a light on the immigrant experience.
      ― Kandi West from Wordsworth Books in Little Rock, AR | Buy from Wordsworth Books

  • A compelling first novel with a beautiful cover. Three generations of the Tran women have lived in the Banyan House on the Gulf Coast of Florida, each generation hiding their secrets. Ann, the youngest, has moved far away and is living a fairytale life with a perfect boyfriend and beautiful lake house. When her grandmother Minh passes away she is called home to the Banyan house where she is forced to examine her “perfect life” and spend time with her estranged mother. In the end this book is about making your own happy ending despite the trauma you have encountered. .   
      ― Kathy Clemmons from Sundog Books in Santa Rosa Beach, FL | Buy from Sundog Books

About Thao Thai

Thao Thai is a writer living in Ohio with her husband and daughter. Her work engages with tangled family relationships and the intersections of motherhood and identity. She’s been published in Cup of Jo, Eater, Catapult, Sunday Long Read, and more. A recipient of the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, she has also been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and earned fellowships in creative writing. She received her MFA from The Ohio State University and her MA from The University of Chicago. 

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