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The Department of English welcomes Aimee Phan, judge of this year's undergraduate creative writing prize submissions, to award the prizes and present a reading from her work.
Her first book, We Should Never Meet, was named a Notable Book by the Kiryama Prize in fiction and a finalist for the 2005 Asian American Literary Awards.
The eight linked stories that comprise Aimee Phan's chilling debut are inspired by "Operation Babylift," the evacuation of thousands of orphans from Vietnam to America weeks before the fall of Saigon. Moving effortlessly between the war-torn homeland and Orange County's "Little Saigon," Phan chronicles the journeys of four such orphans. Passionate and beautifully written, We Should Never Meet is an utterly fresh reconsideration of the Vietnam War for a new generation and heralds the arrival of one of "the very best of the new wave of Asian-American authors." (David Wong Louie)
Her second book, The Reeducation of Cherry Truong, tells the story of two fierce and unforgettable families, the Truongs and the Vos: their harrowing escape from Vietnam after the war, the betrayal that divided them, and the stubborn memories that continue to bind them years later, even as they come to terms with their hidden sacrifices and bitter mistakes. Kim-Ly, Cherry’s grandmother, once wealthy and powerful in Vietnam, now struggles to survive in Little Saigon, California without English or a driver’s license. Cherry’s other grandmother Hoa, whose domineering husband has developed dementia, discovers a cache of letters from a woman she thought had been left behind. As Cherry pieces their stories together, she uncovers the burden of her family’s love and the consequences of their choices. Set in Vietnam, France, and the United States, the novel reveals a family still yearning for reconciliation, redemption, and a place to call home.
“The Reeducation of Cherry Truong explores the intersection of history and human hearts. With tenderness and wisdom, this intricately woven tale presents a world both mysterious and familiar to readers. Aimee Phan is a keen observer and a beautiful writer.” –Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants
Refreshments will be served.
For more information on the creative writing prizes for Dartmouth undergraduates, please visit http://english.dartmouth.edu/undergraduate/prizes.