Eric Nguyen

Eric Nguyen
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Eric Nguyen has a MFA in creative writing from McNeese State University and BA in sociology from the University of Maryland. He has been awarded writing fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation and Voices of Our Nation Arts (VONA).

Book Review: The Sweetest Fruits

What makes this biographical novel different? Lafcadio Hearn gets none of the words. Instead, Truong chose to tell the history of Hearn through the women in his life.

The Sweetest Fruits: A Conversation with Monique Truong

The “minor” characters interest me because they were, in fact, present within history and were witnesses and participants, and yet few historians have bothered to inquire into what these folks saw, felt, and understood about the world. It takes a heck more research and labor to locate the history of these so-called “minor” characters.

Book Review: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a book-length letter of a 28-year-old gay Vietnamese American man to his mother. It is a letter she cannot read, but it doesn’t make it less important. Through impressionistic scenes, Little Dog, the novel’s narrator, builds not only a picture of the life he has with his mother but a landscape of love, memory, and ultimately history.

Book Review: If I Had Two Lives

“People here,” he says, “still think Vietnam is a jungle—brown savages, an exotic Asian whore who you can’t possess, but still satisfies all your sexual demands. It’s burnt into the American imagination. You can’t change that.” In a quietly controlled book, it’s an unexpected moment of rage, where the author and her character lay bare the type of narrative she’s working against.

Book Review: King of Joy

We are more connected yet paradoxically more alone than ever. And we are no longer angry, or simply angry, but sad. Chiem leans into this sadness and lays his characters’ pain bare. Chiem works in metaphors that hit you hard in the heart.

Book Review: Things to Make and Break

Whereas the short story of the 1980s was the province of straight white Americans, Tan is something different: multi-national, sometimes queer, not white. In short, Tan writes into new territory, exciting territory.