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Blurbs For 'East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres'

New America Media, Blog , Andrew Lam Posted: May 05, 2010

My book, East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres, wont come out til September 2010, (Heyday Books) but here are some blurbs Ive received so far. Will post more info when its available. Andrew

In East Eats West Andrew Lam devours the American experience with fresh eyes, keen insight, and a lyrical voice. He is a natural storyteller on a journey of discovery across continents and cultures, and were lucky to be along for the ride.

-Scott James, New York Times columnist and author of the novels SoMa and The Sower

No one writes about being Vietnamese and American with a finer sadness or a richer sense of irony or greater humor than Andrew Lam.
Richard Rodriguez, Author of "Brown: The Last Discovery of America"

Future historians will have the pleasure of chronicling how through his deft essays Andrew Lam bridged, fused, and reconciled Asia, Vietnam, Vietnamese America, contemporary California, American culture as a whole, and the English language into one interactive symbiosis, his and all of ours, for now and for decades to come. -Kevin Starr, Professor USC, History Department, author of America and the Californian Dream

Dont be fooled by the seductive beauty of [Lams] prose underneath its iridescent surface it comes with the wicked kick of Sriracha chili sauce. Sandip Roy, editor at New America Media

Once an awed young refugee from Vietnam, Andrew Lam can still view America with wonder. Our country is becoming Asianculture, religion, food, mediaall influenced by diasporas from countries that were enemies and allies. Alarmed and delighted, I voraciously read East Eats West. Maxine Hong Kingston, author of I Love a Broad Margin to My Life

Andrew Lam is an expert time-traveler, collapsing childhood and adulthood; years of war and peace; and the evolution of language in his own life, time, and mind. To read Andrews work is a joy and a profound journey. Farai Chideya, reporter and author of Kiss the Sky

The Vietnamese Diaspora, particularly in its American incarnation, for years found itself defined by outsiders, if indeedas the inconvenient reminder of a lost warit appeared in the American consciousness at all. It was Andrew Lams generation, born in Viet Nam and raised in the United States, that finally allowed Vietnamese-Americans to find their own voice and insist on their own identity, and East Eats West solidifies Lams place as one of that communitys most articulate spokespeople. His precise and often beautiful use of language, his ability to find the exact situations and people that demonstrate how the personal wraps into the historical, his talent at articulating both the way the Vietnamese-American community views itself, is viewed by others, and has become such a valuable and vital thread in the American fabric, make him not only one of the most valuable voices of that community, but one of the best American essayists of his generation. Wayne Karlin, author of Wandering Souls: Journeys with the Dead and the Living in Viet Nam

In these lovely, wise, probing essays, Andrew Lam not only illuminates the crucial 21st-century issues of immigration and cultural identity but the greater, enduring issues of what it means to be human. East Eats West is a compelling book, and an important one. -Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.

With a sharp eye on American idiosyncrasies, with a sad understanding of the inevitable distance between immigrant parents and their children, with a nuanced hopefulness for culinary utopias, and with an unstoppable curiosity to fathom the layered multilingual memories of an immigrant, East Eats West initiates the reader to the fact that in the land of plenty theres plenty of irony too. Werner Sollors (Harvard University) WS, author of Beyond Ethnicity: Consent and Descent in American Literature and Culture.

[Andrew Lams] story is heart-breaking and inspiring as it tells of the travails, the tragedies and the successes of the Vietnamese and other Asians who came to America to escape oppression and better their lives and the lives of their children and in the process, blessed and changed America.
Larry Engelmann Author, Tears Before the Rain: An Oral History of the Fall of South Vietnam.

In these fine essayson food, freedom, writing and language, the aftermath of war, the future of Southeast Asia and Asian America, but most of all, on familyLam describes our new Pacific world in prose that is subtle, mesmerizing, and unforgettable.Jeff Chang, author of Cant Stop Wont Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation and Who We Be: The Colorization of America

Andrew Lams work weaves journalism and storytelling beautifully. Together the essays craft a new Vietnamese American identity that is invested in neither retrieving authentic culture or claiming AmericaLams vision is shaped by the past, not beholden to it, and trusting of the future. Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Author of This is All I choose to Tell

Andrew Lam hovers over several worlds at oncethe colony and the post-colony, the fraught Vietnam of his childhood, the bouncy America of his adolescence, the syncretic Bay Area of his adulthood. He pulls strands from each of them to weave a story that would be impossible to tell from within a singular realm. Unlike others who travel this road, this is no mere exercise in nostalgia. For Andrew, past and future are in the present tense. By turns playful, thoughtful, and critically astute, this is his version of the voice the New America speaks, and it is a superbly fresh lyric. East Eats West is a sublime dissertation on what happens when the marginal finally arrives at the center.
Rubn Martnez, Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature & Writing, Loyola Marymount University, author of Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail

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