Lucy Cruickshanks

Author of THE TRADER OF SAIGON (2013) and THE ROAD TO RANGOON (September 2015). Published by Quercus.

Month: July, 2013

Win a signed, first edition of The Trader of Saigon

To celebrate the launch of my shiny new website, I’m giving away a signed, first edition copy of The Trader of Saigon. Just sign up for ‘Keep in Touch’ email notifications here by 1st September to be in with a chance to win. Good luck!





The Trader of Saigon picked in ‘Books of the Month’ by The Bookbag

‘A touching, sometimes brutal slice of life from the Saigon that remained when the war correspondents went home. Authentic, beautiful and highly accomplished; all novels should aspire to be this good.’

Earlier in the month, Bookbag reviewer Ani Johnson said some very lovely things about Trader. I’m delighted that the novel has now been chosen as one of their Books of The Month. Thanks very much The Bookbag!

You can read The Bookbag’s July newsletter here, and Ani’s full review here.

An interview with Trip Fiction

‘Hanoi and Saigon are really well drawn, sufficiently for readers to lose themselves in the descriptions of the frantic metropoles…. Two cities, over 1000km apart, wonderfully depicted.’

Here’s a little interview I had with Trip Fiction to celebrate Trader’s launch, where we talked about writing, travelling and pimps on planes.


The inspiration behind The Trader of Saigon

The Trader of Saigon was inspired by a chance meeting on a flight between Singapore and Vietnam in 2007, when I sat next to a man who sold Vietnamese brides. He described himself as a matchmaker; someone who helped aspirational young women find better lives with Chinese or Western men.

He told me how desirable Asian women were – they were loyal, obedient and hard working – and how he was doing them a service by helping them to find love. He was incredibly proud of how rich this had made him. I was shocked by his arrogance and flippancy, but utterly fascinated.

Back in Britain, I looked him. His business was licenced by the government of Singapore and apparently operated entirely within the realms of the law. I started to take a wider look, however, at the Asian marriage industry. It didn’t take much digging to find that whilst some genuine matchmakers do exist, many more ‘legitimate’ companies are fronts for traffickers; groups that mislead, coerce or kidnap women and girls and sell them into forced marriage, prostitution and slavery.

The man I met may or may not have been involved in trafficking, but he made me think hard about where the line between matchmaking and trafficking lies – and who draws it. This question became the basis for the novel.


The Trader of Saigon has been launched in the UK and Commonwealth!

On 4th July 2013 – almost exactly four years after I first put pen to paper – The Trader of Saigon was released into the wild as a proper inky-scented, glossy-covered, grown-up book.

The launch was held at P&G Wells Booksellers in Winchester, which was crammed with lovely people and lovely books. Do drop by if you’re ever passing. It’s great. You can tell them I sent you.

Anyway, here’s a handful of photographs from the launch, and all that’s left to say is a big fat thanks from the bottom of my belly to the team at Quercus Books and everyone else who has helped me get here. I hope it was worth the wait.

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