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The Asian Elephant Vanishes: Once Revered Animal Becomes Consumer Product

New America Media, Commentary, Andrew Lam Jul 18, 2014

In Asia, there's an ongoing irony that deepens as the natural world dwindles to the size of a parking lot. Wild animals, once revered and assigned all kinds of spiritual meaning, are increasingly ending up as the main entrée or as decorations for the rich.

Q&A: Nigeria Kidnappings -- Who Are the ‘Boko Haram?’

New America Media, Andrew Lam May 10, 2014

ditor’s Note: Professor Michael Watts teaches geography at UC Berkeley and is the author of many books, including “Silent Violence: Food, Famine, and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria” and “Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta.” He spoke to NAM editor Andrew Lam about the recent kidnappings of more than 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria by the radical group known as Boko Haram, and the apparent inability of the Nigerian government to either prevent or respond to their crimes. At the time of this writing, 276 of the girls that were kidnapped three weeks ago remain in captivity while 53 have escaped. On Tuesday, Nigerian officials reported that the group had struck again, abducting 11 more schoolgirls in the country’s northeast region.

Give Me The Gun - A Reflection on Exile and the Boston Marathon Bombings

Boom, Essay, Andrew Lam Apr 14, 2014

I am now seven years older than my father was when he came to California at the end of the Vietnam War. I have been an American writer and journalist for over two decades. I am here to tell you that the war, though it ended so long ago, doesn’t end—and for children from war-torn countries, the Old World, its memories and turmoil, sometimes calls out for our blood.

Remembrances: A Child's Christmas in Dalat, Vietnam

New America Media, Essay, Andrew Lam Dec 15, 2013

Wild orchids and colored, painted pine cones -- these things I remember of Christmas in Vietnam.

Moon Goddess and Jade Rabbit: How Science and Spirituality Commingle

New America Media, Andrew Lam Dec 09, 2013

Science, after all, dethrones all the old, known gods. The Hubble telescope and then later on the Kepler telescope -- our amazing eyes in the sky -- have found at least 150 billion galaxies, many of them still being formed

A Nostalgic America, Haunted By Ghosts

New America Media, Commentary, Andrew Lam Oct 30, 2013

But the bright and shiny ghost-less land that Mr. Fei saw in World War II-era America is long gone. The America that believed in technology as a solution to all things, that believed in upward mobility as the norm, that saw itself as defender of the world from evil, has become almost a century later a landscape where ghosts comfortably dwell.

Even the Dead Travel in the Age of Globalization

New America Media, Essay, Andrew Lam Oct 27, 2013

"'Til death do us part," that age-old marriage vow, has always sounded a little, well, non-committal to Confucian ears. In Vietnam, for instance, where I come from, death is not the end of relationships, it only deepens them.

Andrew Lam reads Grandma's Tales from his collection Birds of Paradise Lost

The Story, Reading from book, Birds of Paradise Lost, Andrew Lam Sep 17, 2013

The thirteen stories in Birds of Paradise Lost shimmer with humor and pathos as they chronicle the anguish and joy and bravery of America’s newest Americans, the troubled lives of those who fled Vietnam and remade themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area. The past—memories of war and its aftermath, of murder, arrest, re-education camps and new economic zones, of escape and shipwreck and atrocity—is 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 Tourette’s 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.

SALAD DAYS: REMEMBERING GRANDMA

New America Media, Essay, Andrew Lam Jul 25, 2013

For a period of a month sometime ago I became a vegetarian. Some people won’t eat meat because they think it’s cruel to animals, or because of health concerns. My reason is a little different: it is love.

Big Mac Won't Satisfy Vietnamese Desire for Human Rights

New America Media, commentary, Andrew Lam Jul 24, 2013

Vietnam specializes in irony. Its president, Truong Tan Sang, is due to visit the White House this Thursday, where he’s expected to request a lifting of the U.S. ban on lethal weapons sales to his country while also seeking support for a bid to join the UN Human Rights Council.

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