Author Archives: Viet Nguyen

To current subscribers: check your subscription soon!


Dear subscribers,

The new diaCRITICS site will go live in a few days at this URL (diacritics.org). We will do our best to transfer all email subscribers to the new site. Subscribers who have joined through RSS, however, cannot be transferred. We are also hoping that those who subscribe through Networked Blogs will be transferred.

A welcome post will inaugurate the new site. If you don’t automatically get notification of that post, then it’s most likely the case that your subscription didn’t get transferred. Please make sure to renew your subscription via the new site, either through email or through RSS.

The Editors

Hang on…diaCRITICS 2.0 is coming!


We’re going on hiatus for a week or two as we get our brand-new design ready. Hopefully it will go smoothly and you’ll get a notice (if you’re a subscriber) when the new site is up…if not, check back soon and resubscribe!

Trương Bửu Lâm is the 75th subscriber in our subscriber drive!


diaCRITICS wants to add 100 new subscribers! The 25th, 50th, 75th, and 100th subscribers (and those who referred them) get their pick of prizes. Trương Bửu Lâm is our 75th subscriber and has chosen Kim-An Lieberman’s poetry book Breaking the Map. We‘re a little late getting this information posted, and we have close to 80 new subscribers, so please keep signing up via the email link or the networked blogs option on the right. And if you want to refer people and are on networked blogs, you can invite all your friends on Facebook to join via networked blogs!

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“Simply put, this is a wonderful first collection….This is a geography that demands attention.” – Samuel Green, Washington State Poet Laureate

“…whatever forty-year-old image we might still remember from Vietnam or America that is part real and part television, she makes whole, new, and vibrant. She makes us a witness more than reader.”
– Shawn Wong, Author of Homebase and American Knees

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A little more information about Trương Bửu Lâm  comes below.

Trương Bửu Lâm

Where are you from?

I was born in Vietnam and grew up in Saigon.

Tell us something else about yourself.

My full name is Trương Bửu Lâm. In the USA, I am known under my given name which is Lâm and not by my family name, Trương. That results from an error I committed when I first came to the US. I wrote my name in the same order as I have always written it on the immigration form which asks for: first, middle, last names. The error has its merit though: it now allows me to write my name as it is and not as it should have been: Lâm Bửu Trương which I would not recognize as mine!

What do you do?

I earned my doctorate in History from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and from 1957, I worked for the Viện Khảo Cổ of the ministry of Education, Republic of Vietnam. Concurrently, I taught history at the Universities of Saigon and Huế and French and Latin at the University of Dalat. In  1964, a fellowship enabled me to further my training in several American universities until I obtained my first teaching position at the State University of New York in Stony Brook. The University of Hawaii invited me to join its History Department in 1971 to teach Southeast Asian History. I retired from that institution in 2001.

Do you have a favorite Vietnamese or Vietnamese diasporic work of art? If so, tell us about it.

As a student of Vietnamese history, I have always paid much attention to her arts and  literature. That was the reason why I devoted the years since retirement to write and publish a comprehensive history of Vietnam entitled A Story of Vietnam  (http://www.astoryofvietnam.com) in which I allocated a fair amount of space to the arts and literature.

In that book, I also wrote what I think of Vietnamese diasporic works of fiction. In my opinion, the author of a Vietnamese work of fiction must reside in Vietnam.

I have no favorite Vietnamese work of art for I indiscriminately and equally like all the works I admire – including of course works of diasporic Vietnamese.  Each one has its charm and power of attraction.

 Anything else we should know about you?

I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself to the members of diacritics. I don’t think that I should burden them with anything else.

Trương Bửu Lâm was being far too modest. He is the editor of the collections Patterns of Vietnamese Response to Foreign Intervention, 1858-1900 and Borrowings and Adaptations in Vietnamese Culture, and the author of Resistance, Rebellion, Revolution: Popular Movements in Vietnamese History and New Lamps for Old: The Transformation of the Vietnamese Administrative Elite.

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Please subscribe now or refer more people!

July’s Top Ten Most Critical


Here are the top ten most popular posts published in July (not to be confused with the Ten Most Critical page above, for the top ten most popular posts of all time, which are also updated for this month). Check them out if you haven’t already.

1. Carina Hoang’s ‘Boat People’ — Short Stories, Life-Long Memories

2. Mugged then Shot: Linh Dinh on American Corruption

3.  Paradise Shot — Norway in the World’s Arms

4. Lists of Discovery

5. What Happened in June: Some News and Events

6. Gene Luen Yang & Thien Pham’s Level Up: Review and Comic-Con 2011

7. Dinh Q. Lê’s ‘Erasure’ Opens in Australia

8. Poor Richard’s Rise

9. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Michelle Ton Reviews Three Films

10. Deep Space in Comic Book Artist John Pham’s Sublife 1 and 2

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Did you like these posts? Then please take the time to rate them and share them. Ratings for top posts are listed on the sidebar. Sharing (on email, Facebook, etc.) helps spread the word about diaCRITICS. Thanks!

diaCRITICS needs help from photographers and photo editors


diaCRITICS is undergoing a major redesign. The redesign itself is almost done, but the problem is that the new website will require that each post have two images, and that these images be sized precisely. So we at diaCRITICS will need to go back to each of our nearly 200 posts and make those edits. This is beyond the skills and energy of the diaCRITICS editors!

The new diaCRITICS icon that will appear in all posts without their own original images, courtesy of the great DVAN designer VIet Le.

So we need some volunteers who know how to do digitally resize images (and have the software to do it) to help us get this redesign done in a timely fashion. If you know how to do this, please contact us via the contact us page. It would be great if we can finish the redesign by the end of the summer, and all volunteers will be acknowledged for their work.

June’s Top Ten Most Critical


Here are the top ten most popular posts published in June (not to be confused with the Ten Most Critical page above, for the top ten most popular posts of all time. Check them out if you haven’t already.  And did you know we’re doing a subscriber drive? Subscribe and win prizes!

1. The Art of Memory without Pyrotechnics — Exclusive Intervu with Vu Tran — Part One

2. “Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora: Troubling Borders in Literature and Art” — A Call to Support Visibility anVisuality

3. Comic Book Artist Thi Bui Battles GB Tran, Remembers Home and Family in “Labor”

4. Reading the American-Vietnamese War: Tatjana Soli’s The Lotus Eaters

5. The Art of Memory without Pyrotechnics — Exclusive Intervu with Vu Tran — Part Two

6. Nhi T. Lieu’s The American Dream in Vietnamese

7. Nguyen Qui Duc: Vietnam Youth Use Social Media to Organize Demonstration

8. Isabelle Thuy Pelaud and “This is All I Choose to Tell” on New America Now — A Radio Interview With Andrew Lam

9. A Sensory Life: Andrew Lam interviews Monique Truong on Her Latest Novel

10. Mộng Lan, Tangoing with Poetry

Did you like these posts? Then please take the time to rate them and share them. Ratings for top posts are listed on the sidebar. Sharing (on email, Facebook, etc.) helps spread the word about diaCRITICS. Thanks!

May’s Top Ten Most Critical


Here are the top ten most popular posts published in May (not to be confused with the Ten Most Critical page above, for the top ten most popular posts of all time, which are also updated for this month. Enforcing the Silence: On the Unsolved Murder of Lam Duong, Journalist appears for the first time). Check them out if you haven’t already.  And did you know we’re doing a subscriber drive? Subscribe and win prizes!

1. Bearing the Weight of History – the Story of a Young Chăm Woman in America

2. Nude Dudes and Nukes—Photography in Phnom Penh—Winter 2010 and Spring 2011

3. From Viet Nam to Japan … via France: Tran Anh Hung’s Norwegian Wood

4. The Long Bien Picture Show // Buổi Chiếu Bóng Long Biên

5. Tofu, No Apologies: An Interview with Food Writer Andrea Nguyen

6. A Voice that Sings: Spoken Word Artist Bao Phi Performs at USC

7. Stories from Beyond: A Recap of the “Beyond the War” Panel

8. Petits Viet Nams: CAFI, A Look at a Little Viet Nam in France

9. Open Thread: Your Chance to Participate

10. What Happened in April: Some News and Events

Did you like these posts? Then please take the time to rate them and share them. Ratings for top posts are listed on the sidebar. Sharing (on email, Facebook, etc.) helps spread the word about diaCRITICS. Thanks!