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An Evening with Aimee Phan

An Evening with Aimee Phan

Come celebrate the publication of her book: WE SHOULD NEVER MEET Stories (St. Martin's Press) about Vietnam and Vietnamese Americans

Monday, October 25, 2004
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Ackerman Viewpoint Lounge
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Join us for a special evening of readings and discussions of the texts' themes moderated by Dr. Thu-huong Nguyen-Vo, Assistant Professor in Asian American Studies. UCLA students Satomi Zeigler & Shekahr Darke will open the evening with their own works. AAS MA student, Tram Le will be the emcee for the evening.

Monday, October 25, 2004

7:00 - 7:30 PM - Welcome by Tram Le and Performances by Satomi Zeigler, Shekahr Darke
7:30 - 8:15 PM - Reading by Aimee Phan. Introduced by AAS Associate Professor David Wong Louie
8:15 - 8:45 PM - Q & A facilitated by AAS Assistant Professor Dr. Thu-huong Nguyen Vo
8:45- 9:00 PM -  Book signing

Aimee Phan (UCLA alum, 2000) grew up in Orange County, California - home to Little Saigon, the largest community of Vietnamese Americans in the country. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa, where she won a Maytag Fellowship. She lives in Las Vegas, where she teaches part-time and is at work on a novel.

Compelling, moving, and beautifully written, the interlinked stories that make up We Should Never Meet alternate between Saigon before the city's fall in 1975 and present-day "Little Saigon" in Southern California - exploring for us the reverberations of the Vietnam War in a completely new light.

Intersecting the lives of eight characters across three decades and two continents, these stories each surround the events of Operation Babylift, the emergency evacuation of 2,000 Vietnamese and Amerasian orphans from Vietnam under the executive order of President Gerald Ford just weeks before the fall of Saigon. Unwitting reminders of the war, these children were considered "bui doi," the dust of life, and faced an uncertain, dangerous existence if left behind in Vietnam.

Four of the stories follow the saga of one orphan's journey from the points-of-view of his teenage mother, a duck farmer from the Mekong Delta, a social worker in Saigon, and a volunteer doctor from America. The other four take place 20 years later and chronicle the lives of four Vietnamese orphans now living in America: Kim, an embittered Amerasian girl searching for her unknown mother; Vinh, her gang member ex-boyfriend who preys on Vietnamese families to rob; Mai, an ambitious orphan who faces her emancipation from the American foster care system; and Huan, an Amerasian adopted by a white family, who returns to Vietnam with his adoptive mother.

Powerful and completely original, We Should Never Meet is a truly exceptional debut by a new major writer for our time.

"This extraordinary first book creates with eloquent dignity an intricate bridge of human stories connecting America and Vietnam."
- Lan Samantha Chang, author of Hunger

"With this remarkably original and impressive debut, Aimee Phan takes her place among the very best of the new wave of Asian American authors. Few, if any, rival the literary ambition and thematic scope so evident in WE SHOULD NEVER MEET."
-David Wong Louie, author of The Barbarians Are Coming

Light refreshments will be served

Books will be available for sale by AASC $20 (event price).
Books will be available for sale at Eastwind Books all week of the event:
Eastwind Books & Arts 925 Westwood Blvd., LA, CA 90024  (310) 824-4888

Funded by: ASUCLA Waiver Pool

Purchase $ 7 parking permit from Westwood Boulevard entrance for Lot 6 To RSVP-via email: aascrsvp@aasc.ucla.edu or by phone (310) 825-2974.

Cost : Free and open to the public.

(310) 825-2974

Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Asian American Studies Center, UCLA Asian Pacific Coalition, Eastwind Books