Graham Greene’s Saigon

'It was quite by chance that I fell in love with Indo-China; nothing was further from my thoughts on my first visit than that I would one day set a novel there… The spell was first cast, I think, by the tall elegant girls in white silk trousers, by the pewter evening light on flat paddy fields, where the water-buffaloes trudged fetlock-deep with a slow primeval gait, by the French perfumeries in the rue Catinat, the Chinese gambling houses in Cholon, above all by that feeling of exhilaration which a measure of danger brings to the visitor with a return ticket'.

Graham Greene, Ways of Escape (London: 1982)

The heart of Greene's Saigon is the former Rue Catinat, running from Notre Dame Cathedral to the banks of the Saigon River. This was once the cosmopolitan thoroughfare where Greene liked to take his daily constitutionals, stopping en route for a vermouth cassis as the mood took him. It was naturally, too, the area he chose to make home for his world-weary anti-hero in The Quiet American, the London Times reporter Thomas Fowler...

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GRAHAM GREENE IN SAIGON , Indochina Wars , Opium , Saigon , Cholon , Ngo Dinh Diem , Madame Nhu , Graham Greene , Michael Cain , Philip Noyce , Brendan Fraser , Do Thi Hai Yen , CIA , Second Indochina War

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