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Writers Who Mine the Immigrant Experience

It was natural when I began working in Vietnam to read all I could about the country, its people, its culture, and its history. For three years I read almost nothing else. In the process I read fiction by writers like Robert Olen Butler (A Strange Scent from a Distant Mountain), Nelson DeMille (Up Country), Anthony Grey (Saigon), the war books of James Webb, Phillip Caputo, Tim O’Brien, and Karl Marlantes as well as the North Vietnamese novel The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh. Along the way I was introduced to the writing of Vietnamese immigrants and the children of those immigrants – writers like Andrew Lam and Angie Chau. The immigrant voices and their stories of exile and adjustment are deeply affecting. read more