"A novel of many twists and turns, full of people who aren't what they appear to be...
"A first novel of astonishing force, craft and beauty, The Headmaster's Wager conjures up a dizzyingly evocative wartime Saigon in the story of Percival Chen, a Chinese schoolmaster in Vietnam. This extraordinary book made me weep. Read it."
"It's [the] street-level view of a story we're more accustomed to viewing in panorama that ultimately makes Lam's novel so effective and affecting. In stages so subtle they're scarcely noticeable until he's got you fully in his grip, Lam combines elements of historical fiction, political thriller and domestic drama to present one of the 20th century's defining stories in a whole new way."
"The Headmaster's Wager brings to life a vibrant, unforgettable character who struggles for love and survival in a richly detailed evocation of wartime Vietnam. Mr. Lam's tale moved me even as it led through an exotic landscape filled with unthinkable violence, passionate longing, and unbreakable bonds of paternal love. His characters and their story will remain with you."