From the award winning author of 'Flesh', "Demons advocate love-not the compassionate love devoid of possession and sexual desire. It's the lustful love. They tempt humans with such lust, and the moment living beings fall for it, the demons will peddle longing to take them away."
Thus, begins the terrible journey of a twenty-year-old boy in search of the two brothers who are drifters and who raped and killed his cousin also his girl.
Set in post-war Vietnam, The Demon Who Peddled Longing brings together the damned, the unfit, the brave, who succumb by their own doing to the call of fate. Yet their desire to survive and to face life again never dies, so that when someone like the boy, who is psychologically damaged by his family tragedy, who no sooner gets his life together after being rescued by a fisherwoman than falls in love with an untouchable girl and finds his life in peril, takes his leave in the end, there is nothing left but a longing in the heart that goes with him.
“The boy thought on all this. What he knew of the plain might someday draw him back there. The colors of sky and clouds that brought news of the coming rain. Rain. For days on end. The plain a lonesome oasis brimming with floodwater, and in the rain you could see white and pink water lilies afloat and riverhemp flowers dropping their petals, softly spinning in yellow, to the water. Then the wind-borne odors of fishing nets being hung out to dry that seemed to hold in them all that was to come from the rivers and creeks and canals and all the living and organic things that inhabited them, the fish, the swamp grass, the aquatic plants.”
Khanh Ha is the author of Flesh (2012, Black Heron Press). He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and the recipient of Greensboro Review's 2014 Robert Watson Literary Prize in Fiction. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Waccamaw Journal, storySouth, Greensboro Review, The Long Story, Permafrost Magazine, Saint Ann's Review, Moon City Review, Red Savina Review, DUCTS, ARDOR, Lunch Ticket,Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Tayo Literary Magazine, Sugar Mule, Yellow Medicine Review,Printer's Devil Review, Mount Hope, Thrice Fiction, Lalitamba Journal, and other fine magazines.