Linh Dinh is the author of two story collections, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004); five books of poems, most recently Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009); and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). He also edited Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and Three Vietnamese Poets (2001).
Sitting in a circle, we clapped in unison singing a traditional Tết song welcoming spring and wishing for a prosperous start to the year. I sat in awe of the resilience and joy that I have been able to witness through my experience at the Compassion House, a reintegration shelter for girls and women who have been victims of human trafficking, opened by the Pacific Links Foundation in 2010.
"The tears are built-in to our war stories. Humor provides a back door to sadness that allows for a more gentle, and perhaps deeper, absorption of the story. That doesn't mean I in anyway try to lessen the horror in the story."