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AAWW Radio is the podcast of the Asian American Writers' Workshop, a national nonprofit dedicated to the idea that Asian American stories deserve to be told. Listen to AAWW Radio and you’ll hear selected audio from our current and past events. We’ve hosted established writers like Claudia Rankine, Maxine Hong Kingston, Roxane Gay, Amitav Ghosh, and Hanya Yanagihara, as well as more emerging writers like Ocean Vuong, Solmaz Sharif, and Jenny Zhang. Our events are intimate and intellectual, quirky yet curated, dedicated to social justice but with a sense of humor and weirdness. We curate our events to juxtapose novelists and activists, poets and intellectuals, and bring together people who usually wouldn’t be in the same room. We’ve got it all: from avant-garde poetry to post-colonial politics, feminist comics to lyric verse, literary fiction to dispatches from the racial justice left. A sanctuary for the immigrant imagination, we’re inventing the future of Asian American literary culture. Learn more by visiting aaww.org.

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May 8, 2019

In March, we co-presented a series of conversations with DVAN, the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network. For this podcast we’ll be listening to an introduction by DVAN founder and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer Viet Than Nguyen. Following this is a conversation around the concept of Vietnamese ghost stories moderated by Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis and featuring authors Violet Kupersmith, Thanhha Lai, & Vu Tran. The order they’re listed here is the same order they answer the first question. Together, they dissect the concept of the ghost story, as a metaphor for the immigrant, a reflection of the self and one’s deepest fears and insecurities, and then broaden the conversation to talk about community and what a Vietnamese diasporic literary community looks like to them.

Violet Kupersmith is the author of The Frangipani Hotel, a collection of supernatural short stories about the legacy of the Vietnam War. She is writing a forthcoming novel about ghosts and American expats in modern-day Saigon. Thanhha Lai is the author of the National Book Award-winning novel Inside Out & Back Again and the novel Listen, Slowly.  Her third novel, Butterfly Yellow, will be published this fall. Vu Tran is the author of Dragonfish, which was a NY Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award and an NEA Fellowship. Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis is curator of Asian Pacific American Studies at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. He is also founding Director of the Washington, DC-based arts nonprofit The Asian American Literary Review.

Co-sponsored by the APA Institute at NYU.