Vietnamese American author Andrew Lam has been recognized for his collection of short stories Birds of Paradise Lost with the Pen/Oakland Award, reports Asian Fortune.
He recently talked with Asian Fortune and said he wrote Bird of Paradise Lost to “pay tribute to those who struggled and their resilience.” He explains.
“I left Vietnam on a plane and watched the aftermath of the war from America: boat people, re-education camps, poverty, starvation, all kinds of horrors that played out after I left my homeland. Then I watched as newcomers struggle to survive in the new place while being haunted by memories and trauma of their exodus.”
Lam says his experiences as a refugee are an integral part of his writings.
“I am informed by trauma, by having lost and country and having to remake my life in the New World. Later on I take on the Asian American identity and an immigrant identity but i am formed by the Vietnam war and its aftermath first and foremost.”
You can read an excerpt from his short store The Palmist in Asian Fortune.