"Given the current debates about representation in literature, I find myself reflecting on how I have always preferred books to be windows rather than mirrors. I was a voracious reader from a young age but growing up I didn’t particularly yearn for stories about what it meant to be Vietnamese – especially in Australia – because I was already drowning in the experience of it."

Coming of Age in Cabramatta

"Given the current debates about representation in literature, I find myself reflecting on how I have always preferred books to be windows rather than mirrors. I was a voracious reader from a young age but growing up I didn’t particularly yearn for stories about what it meant to be Vietnamese – especially in Australia – because I was already drowning in the experience of it."

GB Tran Is A Cartoonist Dad in the “Age of Covid”

"A cartoonist has gotta cartoon, though, so I redirected my energy into these spontaneous diary comics to document and process this next normal. Five months later, they've become essential in maintaining my sanity during these continued insane times."

In the Diaspora: September 2020

Socio-cultural, literary, and political news and events relating to the Vietnamese diaspora and to Việt Nam.

Nhà (hàng): Confessions of a Restaurant Kid

The restaurant and this building I was about to go into for the last time was where I learned to walk. It was where I learned to talk. And now I had to say goodbye. 

Book Review: The Coconut Children

"Coconut Children" is a coming-of-age story about a cohort forever uneasy with itself and others. A generation that was taken from Vietnam before it could lay roots, and then transplanted to a land where the soil was rich but alien, never quite nourishing.

Land as Memory, Body as Subject: To Call Oneself a Vietnamese Settler

As a settler, and someone whose familial and ancestral history is also tied to histories of displacement, understanding and living on Indigenous land is a political commitment that is just as important as understanding my fractured relationship to my family’s homeland of Vietnam.

Fuck off, we’re full ~ a poem by Tracey Lien

To move to another suburb, for another school, because the pre-school teacher said there were too many Asians at this one, that you’d develop an Asian accent, that a new environment was the only way to cleanse the tongue.

Điều tra dân số & Cha tôi

Đưa đồng bào của ông tham gia vào Thống Kê Dân Số là sự mở rộng đương nhiên trong công việc phục vụ cộng đồng của cha tôi - để đảm bảo người Việt được đại diện trong bức chân dung tự họa của Hoa Kỳ.

New Methods of Expression: The Art of Betty Nguyễn

Underbellies are beautiful. I am drawn to shadows and reflections because they decenter the dominant subject, the main message, and instead reveal the margins of a substance.

In Between Spaces: On Being Vietnamese German

So, how do you start loving yourself? When the outside world continues to show you and tell you wherever you go, you don’t belong.

Alternate Reality, or, A Narrow Opening ~ a poem by Bao Phi

Instead of a grandmother kicked in her face: a thousand orchids blooming from each swinging foot, the stems and petals forming a fragrant facemask wrapped around every face - hers, and yours.

THIS IS FOR MẸ: Hope & Humour with Malaka Gharib

I like making really tiny zines and the challenge of trying to express big ideas like love, loss and heartbreak with very few words, images and pages. It feels like I am writing a haiku or a poem, or trying to work through a puzzle.

Giving Voice to the Dream of Nation Building in Vietnam: “The Republic of Vietnam,...

For us, more than anything, "The Republic of Vietnam" is a primer and a demand for a more comprehensive, Vietnamese-written works of history.
2020 August News Feature

In the Diaspora: August 2020

Socio-cultural, literary, and political news and events relating to the Vietnamese diaspora and to Việt Nam.

New Wave: A Conversation with Filmmaker Elizabeth Ai On Her Documentary

Wherever new wave was playing was a safe space. They knew they could congregate with other young Vietnamese, and momentarily escape pressures from home, their past trauma, and just be whatever version of themselves they wanted to be.

Textures of April 30th: Poems by Katherina Nguyen

I wish I knew Miss Saigon, / knew her through my parents’ eyes, / before the worry lines crowded their vision, / before her name became another word for loss.