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Life Elsewhere: A review of "Birds of Paradise Lost"

LARB, Book review, Joy Horrowitz Aug 27, 2014

Lams real focus, in these stories, is somewhere along the intersection of freedom and bloodshed. Such a place is inherently chaotic, and you can look at these stories as a means of mediating the many contradictions therein. Reading them now as we witness the fall of yet another US-backed regime, this one in the deserts of Iraq instead of the jungles of Saigon (not to mention the ongoing dispatches from Israel and the Gaza Strip) reminds us that, from one generation to the next, war is the legacy that interrupts our dreams and defines our futures.

My Mother's Memories: On Aging and Food

New America Media, Essay, Andrew Lam May 10, 2014

#mother'sday #mothersday Five years ago, my mother, who is now 81, was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's, and her short-term memories are almost non-existent.

Immigration Stories That Will Belong to America

Tikkun, Review, Anna Challet Aug 14, 2013

The thirteen stories in Lams most recent collection, Birds of Paradise Lost, are populated by refugees of the Vietnam War who came to the Bay Area, as well as their children and friendsbut each story is a world unto itself.

For College Grads, Friendly Advice and Tender Warnings

Speech, Andrew Lam Jun 15, 2013

On Friday, June 14, New America Media editor and author Andrew Lam delivered a commencement speech to graduating seniors at UC Irvine. What follows is a portion of that speech.

Andrew Lam on War, Peace, Vietnam and America

New America Media, Speech, Andrew Lam May 31, 2013

Andrew Lam is an editor with New America Media and the author of Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora and East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres. His latest book, Birds of Paradise Lost, a collection of short stories about Vietnamese refugees struggling to rebuild their lives in California, was published March, 2013. He spoke at the Vietnam War Symposium at Eau Clair in Wisconsin last year.

Andrew Lam's Birds of Paradise Lost: Immigrants Experience and Literature

WBAI, Andrew Lam May 01, 2013

A widow whose husbands killer becomes a customer in her restaurant, a man who discovers he can dial his old house in Vietnam simply by picking up the phone, and a father raising his young daughter alone in a California housing project after his wife dies on the boat crossing. The characters in Andrew Lams new book of short stories, Birds of Paradise Lost (Red Hen Press), may have left Vietnam behind, but they are unable to escape the trauma that accompanied their departure. APFs Leyla Mei sat down with the author to talk about nostalgia and memory, hatred and forgiveness, and sadness and loss. Andrew Lam is a journalist and writer. He is an editor and cofounder of New American Media and blogs regularly at Huffington Post. His book Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora won the 2006 PEN Open Book Award.

Dropping the 'i' Word -- History, Humanity and Martians

New America Media, Essays, Andrew Lam, Helen Zia, Chitra Divakaruni Apr 14, 2013

In early April the Associated Press announced that it would no longer use the word illegal when referring to undocumented immigrants. The decision has been hailed by immigrant rights groups and others, who say the term is a pejorative that dehumanizes large swaths of the U.S. population, immigrant and native-born alike. Below, authors Andrew Lam, Helen Zia and Chitra Divakaruni offer their own views on the term illegal through the lens of the immigrant experience.

Andrew Lam at San Jose State University March 20, @noon to introduce 'Birds of Paradise Lost'

New America Media, Reading from book, Birds of Paradise Lost, Andrew Lam Mar 12, 2013

The thirteen stories in Birds of Paradise Lost shimmer with humor and pathos as they chronicle the anguish and joy and bravery of Americas newest Americans, the troubled lives of those who fled Vietnam and remade themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area. The pastmemories of war and its aftermath, of murder, arrest, re-education camps and new economic zones, of escape and shipwreck and atrocityis ever present in these wise and compassionate stories. It plays itself out in surprising ways in the lives of people who thought they had moved beyond the nightmares of war and exodus. It comes back on TV in the form of a confession from a cannibal; it enters the Vietnamese restaurant as a Vietnam Vet with a shameful secret; it articulates itself in the peculiar tics of a man with Tourettes Syndrome who struggles to deal with a profound tragedy. Birds of Paradise Lost is an emotional tour de force, intricately rendering the false starts and revelations in the struggle for integration, and in so doing, the human heart.

Senators' Letter Calls for Humane Immigration Reform

Feb 06, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Four Democratic Senators circulated a letter to their colleagues Wednesday, laying out the civil and human rights values they believe should be considered as Congress discusses immigration reform. The letter, obtained by ImpreMedia, comes a week before the...

A Once Undocumented Immigrant Reflects Upon Obama’s Plan

Feb 03, 2013

In a packed high school gym in Las Vegas, Nevada, President Barack Obama calmly spoke on the real possibility of comprehensive immigration reform. As I sat in my chair just 15 feet away from the president, I was trying to...

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