A reader asked me about the design of the dust jacket (the paper cover over the book’s hard cover) for my 2017 novel, Last of the Annamese. Here’s what it looks like:
What may not be obvious these days is that the colors and images on the jacket are quintessentially Vietnamese. The figure beneath the “A” in “Annamese” is a Vietnamese woman dressed in a conical hat and an áo dài, the traditional Vietnamese gown. And the lower half of the jacket is a stylized representation of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) flag.
I had nothing to do with the design of the dust jacket, but I was (and still am) very pleased with it. These days, its symbolism is lost on most people. The Republic of Vietnam disappeared 47 years ago when it was conquered by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (communist North Vietnam, which now calls itself the Socialist Republic of Vietnam).
Last of the Annamese is a novel set during the fall of Saigon from which I escaped under fire after the North Vietnamese were already in the streets of the city. As the author Joseph L. Galloway observed, “Tom Glenn has poured a broken heart and a grieving soul into the pages of Last of the Annamese . . .” The dust jacket reflects the essence of that grieving.