Book Talk and Discussion with Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai and Thi Bui
Join us at OACC for a powerful author talk and reading with author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai and her new novel, Dust Child. Author Thi Bui will moderate a discussion with Quế Mai about intergenerational trauma, racism, the cost of war, and healing and reconciliation among the Vietnamese community and between Vietnam and the United States.
“Scenes of past and present Việt Nam come alive in these pages, drawing you into the lives of a handful of characters who become like your family, and in whose stories lies the heartbreaking story of Việt Nam’s complicated relationship with America. With her generous heart and unmatched ability to write across languages and cultures, Quế Mai is the perfect guide for the wounded who search for home and healing.” -Thi Bui, American Book Award-winning author of The Best We Could Do and illustrator of Finding Papa.
Eastwind Books of Berkeley will be vending at the event and will have copies of Quế Mai and Thi’s books available for purchase. The authors will be available to sign and personalize books for readers at the end of the event. Pre-order Dust Child using the code DVAN10, and Eastwind Books will generously donate 10% of title books sales to DVAN’s publishing series to publish books about the Vietnamese experience in order to fight against invisibility and misrepresentation.
From the internationally bestselling author of The Mountains Sing, a suspenseful and moving saga about family secrets, hidden trauma, and the overriding power of forgiveness. Told in the voices of two Vietnamese sisters, an American veteran, as well as the child of a Black American soldier and a Vietnamese woman, Dust Child tells an unforgettable and immersive story of how those who inherited tragedy can redefine their destinies through love, hard-earned wisdom, compassion, courage, and joy.
Praised by the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen as “Another triumph! Powerful and deeply empathetic” and by Library Journal as “achingly honest and ultimately hopeful; essential reading”, Dust Child has been voted a best book of December by Library Journal and a most anticipated book of the year by many publications including BookPage, Salon Magazine, San Diego Union Tribune, Orange County Register, Zibby Magazine, Trenzle Magazine, She Reads, Beyond the Bookends and We Are Bookish.
About Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
Born and raised in Việt Nam, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is the author of the international bestseller The Mountains Sing, runner-up for the 2021 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the 2020 Book Browse Best Debut Award, the 2021 International Book Awards, the 2021 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and the 2020 Lannan Literary Award Fellowship for Fiction. She has published twelve books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in Vietnamese and English and has received some of the top literary prizes in Việt Nam. She is an advocate for the rights of disadvantaged groups in Việt Nam and has founded several scholarship programs, and she was named by Forbes Vietnam as one of twenty inspiring women of 2021. Dust Child is her second novel. For more information, visit www.nguyenphanquemai.com.
About Thi Bui
Thi Bui was born in Vietnam and came to the United States in 1978 as part of the “boat people” wave of refugees fleeing Southeast Asia at the end of the Vietnam War. Her debut graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do (Abrams ComicArts, 2017) won an American Book Award and been selected as an NEA Big Reads book, a Common Book for UCLA and other colleges and universities, an all-city read by Seattle and San Francisco public libraries, a National Book Critics Circle finalist in autobiography, and an Eisner Award finalist in reality-based comics. It made over thirty best of 2017 book lists, including Bill Gates’ top five picks. She illustrated the picture book, A Different Pond, written by the poet Bao Phi (Capstone, 2017), for which she won a Caldecott Honor. With her son, Hien, she co-illustrated the children’s book, Chicken of the Sea (McSweeney’s, 2019), written by Pulitzer winner Viet Thanh Nguyen and his son, Ellison. Her short comics can be found online at Reveal, The Nib, PEN America, and BOOM California. She is currently researching and drawing a work of graphic nonfiction about immigrant detention and deportation, to be published by One World, Random House. For more information, visit www.thibui.com.
This event is brought to you by the Oakland Asian Cultural Center in partnership with Eastwind Books of Berkeley, Algonquin Books, Pacific Links Foundation, English Department of UC Berkeley, PIVOT, Stories of Vietnam, and Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network.