China is once again at odds with a maritime neighbor over disputed islands, this time — as often — leading to a little shooting and a lot of posturing.
The latest confrontation is with Vietnam over the mostly uninhabited Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Hanoi has accused Beijing's forces of firing on a Vietnamese vessel engaged in fishing near the islands, which both sides claim.
Vietnam did not say if anyone was hurt in the incident that occurred last Wednesday, but it described the matter as "very serious."
Vietnamese author Kim Thuy's new novel unfolds in the way a flower casts off petals: one small scene after another. Ru is an autobiographical novel in which memories are shuffled back and forth to tell the story of a 10-year-old born in Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive.