It's a Living: Work and Life in Vietnam Today

$10.00 SGD $28.00 SGD

Edited by Gerard Sasges

Through 67 interviews and 59 photographs, It's a Living reveals the energy and struggle of the world of work in Vietnam today. A goldfish peddler installing aquariums, a business school graduate selling shoes on the sidewalk, a college student running an extensive multi-level sales network, and a promotion girl intent on moving into management are just a few of the people profiled.

Based on frank and freewheeling interviews conducted by students, the book engages a broad range of Vietnamese, both living in Vietnam and abroad, on their feelings about work, life and getting ahead. By providing a ground-level view of the texture of daily working life in the midst of rapid and unsettling change, the book reveals Vietnam today as a place where ordinary people are leveraging whatever assets they have, not just to survive, but to make a better life for themselves.

“a rare and important contribution to Vietnamese studies...I recommend this book for anyone interested in Vietnam – from professionals across all fields working in or on Vietnam to second generation overseas Vietnamese and students of Vietnam studies.” - Lisa Barthelmes

"It's a LivingWork and Life in Vietnam provides the reader with rare glimpses of the realities of working and living, and through those glimpses an unpretentious but succinct account of how ordinary people live with the incredible economic, social and cultural changes that characterize early twenty-first-century Vietnam." - Annusak Derks

"...captures much of the wit and personal drama of everyday Vietnamese life that is so often missing in academic studies...A vibrant, nuanced journey through the lives of women and men struggling to make it in the new Vietnam." - David Biggs

"...vividly illuminates the intersection between processes of social and economic transformation and the everyday...We come to learn what change means, how it is experienced, and the myriad ways that ordinary people, in often quite extraordinary ways, navigate the shoals of life. Their stories are both instructive and humbling." - Jonathan Rigg

It’s a Living will be an excellent accompaniment to academic studies of the reform (or post-socialist) era in Vietnam, because these stories make the concepts and analysis of economists, sociologists and political scientists come alive and demonstrate the ambivalent nature of social and economic change in this country.” - Bruce Lockhart


If you have an iPad and an iBooks account with Apple, you might like to read our special "Made for iPad" edition, only US$ 9.99.

Gerard Sasges received a PhD. from UC Berkeley in 2006. In 2012, after more than ten years living and working in Vietnam, he joined the National University of Singapore, where he teaches and writes about Vietnam and the politics of everyday life.


Publication Year: 2013
350 pages, 190mm x 140mm
with 59 colour photographs
ISBN: 978-9971-69-698-6, Paperback

Ridge Books