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!
“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
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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