ASNC and Mechanics’ Institute are pleased to host acclaimed Vietnamese author Andrew Lam, who will speak about his new book, Birds of Paradise Lost. The 13 stories in Birds of Paradise Lost shimmer with humor and pathos as they chronicle the anguish, joy and bravery of America's newest Americans, those who fled Vietnam and remade themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area. The past memories of war and its aftermath — murder, arrest, re-education camps, escape, shipwreck, and atrocity — is ever-present in these wise and compassionate stories. Lam intricately renders the false starts and revelations in the struggle for integration, and in so doing, the human heart. Joining him will be writer Aimee Phan, who will join Lam to discuss his collection of short stories about Vietnamese newcomers struggling to remake their lives in the Bay Area after a long, painful exodus from Vietnam.
Andrew Lam is web editor of New America Media. He received critical acclaim for his essay collection titled Perfume Dreams, which chronicles the problem of identity as a Vietnamese living in the U.S. The essay collection won the PEN Open Book Award in 2006. He is a regular contributor to National Public Radio's All Things Considered. Lam blogs regularly on Huffington Post and was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.
Aimee Phan teaches writing and literature at the California College of the Arts and is the author of The Reeducation of Cherry Truong and We Should Never Meet. A graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, her writing has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, Guernica, and The Rumpus, among others. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, the MacDowell Arts Colony, and Hedgebrook.
"Read Andrew Lam, and bask in his love of language, and his compassion for people, both those here and those from far away. He reminds us that we have history in common; we can laugh and cry together." — Maxine Hong Kingston
Copies of Birds of Paradise Lost will be available for purchase and signing!