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Vietnamese Ghost Stories (ft. Thanhha Lai, Vu Tran, Violet Kupersmith, & Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis)

By Asian American Writers' Workshop

In March, we co-presented a series of conversations with DVAN, the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network. For this podcast we’ll be listening to an introduction by DVAN founder and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer Viet Than Nguyen. Following this is a conversation around the concept of Vietnamese ghost stories moderated by Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis and featuring authors Violet Kupersmith, Thanhha Lai, & Vu Tran. The order they’re listed here is the same order they answer the first question. Together, they dissect the concept of the ghost story, as a metaphor for the immigrant, a reflection of the self and one’s deepest fears and insecurities, and then broaden the conversation to talk about community and what a Vietnamese diasporic literary community looks like to them. Violet Kupersmith is the author of The Frangipani Hotel, a collection of supernatural short stories about the legacy of the Vietnam War. She is writing a forthcoming novel about ghosts and American expats in modern-day Saigon. Thanhha Lai is the author of the National Book Award-winning novel Inside Out & Back Again and the novel Listen, Slowly.  Her third novel, Butterfly Yellow, will be published this fall. Vu Tran is the author of Dragonfish, which was a NY Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award and an NEA Fellowship. Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis is curator of Asian Pacific American Studies at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. He is also founding Director of the Washington, DC-based arts nonprofit The Asian American Literary Review. Co-sponsored by the APA Institute at NYU.

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