I last saw Vietnam in 2001. Back then, Saigon had no American fast food joints save a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Long-term foreign residents were few, and mostly confined to the Phạm Ngũ Lão area. Now in Saigon, there are 20 KFCs, eight Burger Kings and six McDonald’s, with one across the street from where I used to lived, five miles from downtown.
diaCRITICS editor, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, and Vietnam war refugee Viet Thanh Nguyen reflects on American identity: "I am a refugee, an American, and a human being, which is important to proclaim, as there are many who think these identities cannot be reconciled."
Martin Luther King, Jr., is best known for his speech “I Have a Dream.” Relatively few people know of his speech “Beyond Vietnam,” delivered on April 4, 1967, one year before he was assassinated. It is a prophetic, unsettling, and radical speech that still resonates today.
diaCRITICS is a blog that showcases voices and stories from writers, artists and culture-makers of the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diaspora on and from all shores. We publish poetry, fiction, essays, reviews, visual art, and more. Our founding editor and publisher is Viet Thanh Nguyen. diaCRITICS is a project of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN).