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CSM Presents a Conversation with Author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai on National Vietnam War Veterans Day

March 27, 2023

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) invites the community to a reading and conversation with award-winning author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai at the La Plata campus March 29 at 1 p.m. The discussion with the author – who was born in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and through her writing explores the conflict and its aftermath – will take place on National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is the author of the international bestseller and award-winning novel “The Mountains Sing,” a multi-generational family tale set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War.

Her newest novel, “Dust Child” is a suspenseful and moving saga about family secrets, hidden trauma, and the overriding power of forgiveness, set during the war and in present-day Vietnam. The novel weaves us into the lives – past and present – of the ostracized, mixed-race children of American soldiers; their mothers compelled by war into prostitution; and their American GI fathers who abandoned them.

"As good fiction does, this book allows a reader, or a listener, to personalize the history of people—veterans and Vietnamese—so that history doesn't remain abstract or statistical but becomes a part of their own experience,” said CSM Professor Emeritus Wayne Karlin. “Attending the event gives participants the rare chance of learning about the Vietnam War and its damaging aftereffects on both Americans and Vietnamese from the unique perspective of a Vietnamese author."

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai has published 12 books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction in Vietnamese and English and has received top literary prizes in Vietnam, including “Best Poetry Collection of the Year” in 2010 from the Hà Nội Writers Association.

Her writing has been translated into 20 languages and has appeared in several publications. She has a doctorate in creative writing from Lancaster University and was named by Forbes Vietnam as one of 20 inspiring women of 2021.

The conversation will take place at the Community Education (CE) Building, Room 101 on the La Plata campus. For more information, visit https://www.csmd.edu/calendar/2023/03/author-que-mai-29.html.

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