Essays

On the Uses of Rage and Anger

There are some things we should be angry about, but we need to be artful in expressing that anger. The issue here is that…(read more)

On (Not) Being Vietnamese

Tet passed recently, and Vietnamese holidays always make me think about what it means to be Vietnamese, or not Vietnamese. I’m less interested in…(read more)

War, Memory and the Future

“War, Memory and the Future” was originally published in The Asian American Literary Review, volume 2, issue no. 1, pages 277 – 288 (Winter/Spring…(read more)

Trịnh Công Sơn, Movie Star: A Review of Đất Khổ (Land of Sorrows)

I didn’t know Trinh Cong Son was in a movie until I saw Đất Khổ (Land of Sorrows). Filmed in 1971, the movie is set…(read more)

This Is All I Choose To Tell: Isabelle Thuy Pelaud’s New Book

I was twenty-one years old when I started studying for my doctorate in English. Isabelle Thuy Pelaud was a friend of mine, and had…(read more)

Eye-Level: The Photographs of Jamie Maxtone-Graham

I saw Jamie Maxtone-Graham’s work long before I met him. I didn’t know his was the work I was seeing. This was back in…(read more)

Experimental Vietnamese Music

So who says that Vietnamese music is all about sad songs and Trinh Cong Son and cai luong and Linda Trang Dai? Not C-drik.…(read more)

Luke Nguyen in Viet Nam: Vietnamese Cuisine Goes Global

Vietnamese cuisine continues its slow ascent onto the gourmet charts. First we have the globalization of pho, which has inspired restaurant names like Photastic,…(read more)

Grunts vs. Gooks: Vietnam War Literature and Marlantes’ Matterhorn

Matterhorn, a novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes I’ll admit it. I’m a Vietnam War junkie, ever since watching Apocalypse Now and…(read more)

Paradise and Prisons: New York Times on the Con Dao Islands

The beach at Con Son island Vietnam is apparently going the way of Thailand. The New York Times wrote recently about the Con Dao Islands, once the site…(read more)

Bui Thac Chuyen’s Choi Voi (Adrift)

I just saw Bui Thac Chuyen’s film Choi Voi (Adrift) at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Bui Thac Chuyen is the director of Song Trong…(read more)

Masticating Adrian Tomine

“Masticating Adrian Tomine” was originally published in American Book Review, volume 31, issue no. 1, page 12 (November/December 2009). “Where Are You Going, Where Have…(read more)

Remembering War, Dreaming Peace: On Cosmopolitanism, Compassion, and Literature

“Remembering War, Dreaming Peace: On Cosmopolitanism, Compassion, and Literature” was originally published in The Japanese Journal of American Studies, issue no. 20, pages 149 –…(read more)

Let’s Talk: On Art, Communism and Controversy

I’m proud to be a Vietnamese American, but on some days I’m sad to be one. This is one of those days, in the…(read more)

Multimedia as Composition: Research, Writing and Creativity

“Multimedia as Composition: Research, Writing and Creativity” was originally published in Academic Commons January 2009 issue, “The Difference that Inquiry Makes: A Collaborative Case Study on…(read more)

At Home With Race (On Omi and Winant’s Racial Formation in the United States)

“At Home With Race (On Omi and Winant’s Racial Formation in the United States)” was originally published in The Modern Language Association of America, volume…(read more)