Essays

The picture tells us that what was created by, what carried and facilitated the machinery of war, in Vietnam at least, dies, begins here to be visually engulfed, while the human body that dives and falls can and will swim. The identity of a nation in free-fall...
'...Vietnamese is a very poetic language, it's incredibly beautiful. It's so tender...' What does one's language sound like when it is expressed in another language that is not the first language? Can one language be spoken via the words and sounds of another? And how does the hidden language exist...
Shortly before taking on this editorship, I spent two months at an artist residency in Iceland. I’d been dreaming of this trip for years, of being someplace faraway and–for myself–disconnected from history as I knew it. History as I knew it being: an American citizenship via war-related refugee exodus from Vietnam...
This op-ed essay by diaCRITICS publisher Viet Thanh Nguyen is a reprint from The NYT Opinion section on Jan. 20, 2018. If you enjoy reading this reflection on fatherhood from the Vietnamese perspective, you might also enjoy this video poem performance of Bao Phi's "Future Letter to Daughter", originally posted...
For many Americans “Vietnam” has been a moniker for a whole hellish debacle of American experience, and/but it is also the name of a country and a people. This is to say: we are at this table, too, and have been here all along.
I’ve long held this fear ... that young, Vietnamese American boys like my friends, cousins, and future children would drop lifeless against sidewalk cement following the sound of a gunshot, proving that warzones hungrily follow Vietnamese families regardless of where they settle.