Reviews

Make _________ Great Again

The running thread throughout the selected works as addressing boundaries and borders, what’s considered in and out of a state, the inner and outer, and the private and public spheres of the social, economic, and political.

Book Review: The Veil Between Two Worlds by Christina Vo

Christina Vo’s debut memoir, The Veil Between Two Worlds: A Memoir of Silence, Loss, and Finding Home, is akin to a spiritual awakening after a long slumber, a salve to a throbbing, persistent wound. The book centers around Vo’s mid-life experience and family trauma, expanding and contracting between the past and present, the physical and spiritual, the mental and emotional. It explores questions of How did I get here? Why can’t I let go of these past wounds? What is my purpose in life?

Book Review: Here I Am, Burn Me by Kimberly Nguyễn

Kimberly Nguyen’s words are a punch in the gut, an inspiration, and an evocation of nostalgia, grief, pain, and hope—all at once. Her poems navigate the complexities of life through many lenses: history of the war torn homeland, the journey to reclaiming and preserving the mother language, growing up as chi hai, the “eldest daughter of an eldest daughter of an eldest daughter,” and complicated family relationships. The collection does not leave any topic untouched, and the reader will turn the pages with their heart in their throat.

Book Review: Owner of a Lonely Heart by Beth Nguyen

The uncomfortable feelings and experiences that we face as the children of Vietnamese refugees are encapsulated in Owner of a Lonely Heart, a memoir lodged in Beth Nguyen’s experience as a Vietnamese American. A sense of finality spans her book, accenting events like when our parents left Vietnam, after which some of us forgot our roots and those left behind in Vietnam.

Between the Mekong and Mississippi

Giữa Hai Giòng Sông/Between Two Rivers/Entre deux rivières is the first retrospective of An-My Lê’s three-decade career by a major American museum.

Book Review: Anam by André Dao

As an autofictional work that is part memoir, novel, and essay collection, Anam is a curious product of academic research, philosophical inquiry, oral history, and imagination.