The Lotus and The Storm


“Al-Kadhi was 10 when they realised they were gay, having fantasised about the cartoon Robin Hood, and then Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. But their parents couldn’t accept the possibility that Al-Kadhi was anything but heterosexual. “Even if you feel gay, just sleep with girls, and you will no longer be gay” was their father’s advice, backed up by anti-homosexual teaching at school that provoked terrifying nightmares. Al-Kadhi still often wakes to find the bedding on the far side of the room.

Their book details the various methods, some harrowing, they tried in order to gain short-term relief from the unbearable sense of a divided life: from acting to abusive relationships, chemsex parties, academic perfectionism and a passion for tropical aquariums. There’s also a unicorn tattoo, on Al-Kadhi’s chest, the rump of which they used to rub, for comfort and luck.” – The Guardian.

This book dispatches within 5-7 days.

9 in stock



Written by Lan Cao, The Lotus and the Storm is a novel about war and its casualties. On one level, it chronicles the downfall of a country marred by political intrigue and ravaged by a war fought on its land but controlled and managed elsewhere. On a more personal level, it is a deeply intimate story about love and longing, deception and betrayal, and trauma and madness. But most of all, it is about loss of country and the deep imprints this loss has on its children’s lives, in ways that ripple across time and space.

The novel tells the story of a family whose lives are inextricably bound to and altered by the tragic events that led to the fall of Saigon. The chapters alternate between the life of a once decorated soldier, now weak and ailing, in his home in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. and that of his daughter, Mai, who grew up in Saigon’s twin city, Cholon.


You may also like…