Cathy Duong is an undergraduate student at Yale, majoring in English. She grew up in a Vietnamese American community in Garden Grove, CA and is passionate about diasporic Vietnamese arts and literature.
A Tale of Healing and Finding Identity After Displacement By War: A Review of Eric Nguyen's Things We Lost to the Water
Things We Lost to the Water weaves together the voices of the Vietnamese mother and child, of first-generation and second-generation immigrants, into a powerful tale of healing and finding one’s identity after displacement by war. This debut novel by Vietnamese American writer Eric Nguyen follows Huong, a young mother who must raise her two sons, Tuan and Binh, in New Orleans after escaping Vietnam by boat. The family is haunted by an absent husband and father, Cong, who did not escape with them. Huong, Tuan and Ben (Binh’s American name) alternate in narrating their story.
Phuc Tran’s Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In was released by Flatiron Books on April 21, 2020, amid the pandemic and just days before the 45th anniversary of Fall of Saigon — the city alluded to in the title’s wordplay. A high school Latin teacher and renowned tattoo artist with his own shop, Tran spins a tale of being the Vietnamese immigrant kid in the white American town of Carlisle, Pennsylvania in the 1980s.
In 1982, 2-year-old Hai-Dang Phan and his family arrived in America as political refugees fleeing from the aftermath of the war in Vietnam. In his debut poetry collection, Reenactments: Poems and Translations, Phan, the son of Vietnamese refugees, confronts his inheritance of Vietnam War history as a 1.5-generation Vietnamese American. Phan’s collection centers on the concept of reenactment — a recreated experience, a repeated performance, a translated act.
The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit is a poetry anthology recently published by Orison Books. Editors Leah Silvieus and Lee Herrick have curated over 100 poems by Asian American diasporic poets that offer a multifaceted exploration of faith. (Editor's Disclosure: Leah Silvieus is one of Hyphen's Books editors.) Silvieus and Herrick present these soul-searching works in six sections, including the divine within nature, ancestry, political resistance, and prayer and ritual.