I was doing the High Holidays not only as an act of ritual, but also as a result of a deep yearning for something to feel familiar. Amidst an incredibly abrupt change of scenery—moving across the world to a new country, getting food poisoning during my first week, and most recently, contracting dengue fever. All of this, of course, occurring all at once on my first visit to Vietnam in over a decade.

Reflections of a Jew-Bu

I was doing the High Holidays not only as an act of ritual, but also as a result of a deep yearning for something to feel familiar. Amidst an incredibly abrupt change of scenery—moving across the world to a new country, getting food poisoning during my first week, and most recently, contracting dengue fever. All of this, of course, occurring all at once on my first visit to Vietnam in over a decade.

Breaking Bread with “The Bánh Mì Chronicles”

Through this podcast, I wanted to break “banh mi” with fellow AAPI folks in Chicago and beyond to share their own experiences connecting to their AAPI roots, the work that they are doing to empower their community, their family, and themselves. 

Book Review: Butterfly Yellow

Butterfly Yellow is a Vietnamese refugee story but also an American one—the way the idea of America is not exactly aligned with the way America actually is.

In the Diaspora: February 2020

Socio-cultural, literary, and political news and events relating to Việt Nam and to the Vietnamese diaspora. ■ News from the Diaspora ■ ►UK police say 39...

Hustling in Art & Work: Bao Phi and Jane Kim in Conversation

Bao: My parents loved Vietnamese arts and poetry but knew they lived in a culture that doesn’t value that. And yet here they had a son who was going into art in the English language, and they feared for my survival, which is a pressure a lot of people don’t understand.

THIS IS FOR MẸ: A Phone Call with Mom

In this except of this is for mẹ, Tam Nguyen reflects on a phone call with her mother, exploring how this simple interaction can carry pregnant silences, anchored by words left unsaid, and a love that is textured, ferocious and complex.

Matt Huynh: Cabramatta

I was conscious that the readership would be much broader and unfamiliar with the historical and political context against which much of Cabramatta’s gangs emerged, became Australia’s heroin capital and infamously led to Australia’s first political assassination.

“TAKE ONE CAPSULE BY MOUTH EVERY MORNING FOR ONE WEEK THEN TAKE TWO CAPSULES...

My counselor asked me if I’ve had any traumatic experiences lately. This was 12 minutes into our first meeting, after he asked me to rate my happiness, on a scale from one to ten.

Writing Into Existence: Artist Profile of Kimberly Nguyen

A goal of my poetry is to explore each complicated avenue of my identity as it manifests and conflicts with another avenue, to acknowledge all the problems and joys being Vietnamese-American. I can mourn for the loss of a homeland and empathize with my mother’s loss of country at the same time I can keep in mind the South Vietnamese persecution of Buddhists.

More Than My Ethnicity

I grew up wanting to run away from my physical identity and only wanting to be seen through the lenses of my character, my points of view, and my accomplishments. Why should being born to certain kind of people be at the forefront of everything I do?

From Law School Graduate to Activist Photographer: Artist Profile of Cindy Trinh

For me, photography has been a tool for change and impact. I believe that through visual imagery and storytelling, photographers have the power to change people’s minds.
2020 JAN NEWS Feature Image

In the Diaspora: January 2020

Socio-cultural, literary, and political news and events relating to Việt Nam and to the Vietnamese diaspora. ■ News from the Diaspora ■ ►How a boy from Vietnam became a slave on a UK cannabis farm ►Vietnamese mother...

Most Anticipated ARVN Memoir: “Surviving the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath”

Vũ and Dương’s sweeping memoir unveils to the English-language reader a three pronged journey that would otherwise be held in mystery: the work of Vietnamese war correspondents during the Việt Nam War, the experience of South Vietnamese citizens, particularly women, imprisoned in Communist “re-education” camps, and the agonizing captivity of refugees held as hostages by Thai pirates.

Dismantling the Old Boys’ Club: Thuc Doan Nguyen & Hollywood

I think Hollywood has and still most of the time employs their friends from “the old boys’ club,” people who look alike and think alike and have similar views about women. This will only change when Hollywood actually values true inclusion, especially when so many studies and articles show doing right by marginalized groups equals a ton more loot at the box office.

“Outline of Our Bodies”: Video Poems by Vi Son Trinh

Part poem. Part fluent. Part Viet. Part not. These visual diaries are my way of understanding the complexity of being in two separate places at the same time.

Editor’s Note: Looking Toward 2020

Two years ago this time I was preparing to assume the editorship of this blog, diaCRITICS, from Viet Thanh Nguyen, and having many thoughts about diaspora and the vantage points—both fluid and fixed—it can...