Tran, Vu 2017

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
with RJ Eldridge and Tara Stringfellow
City Lit Books


After a minute, he came back and handed me the phone.
The line was silent.
“Yes,” I said.
“You. Robert Ruen.” It was a declaration, not a question—an older man’s voice, loud and somehow childish, the accent unmistakably Vietnamese. “Say something to me.”

– Vu Tran, “Dragonfish”

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Read this interview with Vu Tran from Bloom:

Q&A with Vu Tran

“With a novel, the end felt so far off, always beyond the horizon, and that was a terrifying feeling. Eventually, I had to teach myself to be okay with that, to turn the uncertainty and fear into a productive state of mind.”

Our first night at sea, you cried for your father. You buried your face in my lap and clenched a fist to your ear as if to shut out my voice. I reminded you that we had to leave home and he could not make the trip with us. He would catch up with us soon. But you kept shaking your head. I couldn’t tell if I was failing to comfort you or if you were already, at four years old, refusing to believe in lies. You turned away from me, so alone in your distress that I no longer wanted to console you. I had never been able to anyway. Only he could soothe you. But why was I, even now, not enough? Did you imagine that I too would die without him?

– Vu Tran, “Dragonfish”

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Read this essay by Vu Tran from LitHub:

Vu Tran: The Uncertain Memories of a Four-Year-Old Refugee

When I tell someone about my refugee experience, a story I’ve told countless times, I’m always aware that I have no real memory of it. At some point it’ll feel as though I’m describing the plot poi…

Watch Vu Trans’s Lecture “Noir and Refugee Experience” at University of Chicago:

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