Spanning 1980s Midwest to imperial court China, our second installment of Bricolage—a salon-style multimedia show-n-tell—takes us into the brilliant minds of novelists on journeys of recovery. American Book Award-winner Don Lee’s The Collective is a gripping tale of friendship, loss, and the “melancholy burden of unfulfilled dreams” (Publishers’ Weekly). After a tragic suicide, the novel retraces the struggles of three aspiring artists from nascent college years to their travails as working artists of color in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Aimee Phan’s multigenerational novel The Reeducation of Cherry Truong skips across three continents of the Vietnamese diaspora, following a young woman’s mission to uncover family secrets blurred by war, betrayal, and fickle human memory. Described by Library Journal as an irresistible “blend of the highbrow literary and guilty summer pulp,” Pauline Chen’s The Red Chamber re-imagines the Chinese classic in a retelling of opulence and excess in aristocratic women’s quarters of 18th century Beijing. Join us for a night of inquiry in examining memory that lapses time and straddles continents.
This event is co-sponsored by Guernica Magazine of Art and Politics
Pauline A. Chen earned her B.A. in classics from Harvard, her J.D. from Yale Law School, and her Ph.D. in East Asian studies from Princeton. She has taught Chinese language, literature, and film at the University of Minnesota and Oberlin College. She is also the author of a novel for young readers, Peiling and the Chicken-Fried Christmas and lives in Ohio with her two children.
Don Lee is the author of the novels Wrack and Ruin and Country of Origin and the story collection Yellow. He has received an American Book Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Fred R. Brown Literary Award, and was a finalist for the Asian American Literary Award in Fiction. His stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, GQ, The Southern Review, American Short Fiction, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. For nineteen years, he was the principal editor of the literary journal Ploughshares. He is currently the director of the MFA program in creative writing at Temple University.
Aimee Phan grew up in Orange County, California, and now teaches in the MFA Writing Program and Writing and Literature Program at California College of the Arts. A 2010 National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, Aimee received her MFA from the University of Iowa, where she won a Maytag Fellowship. Her first book, We Should Never Meet, was named a Notable Book by the Kiryama Prize in fiction and a finalist for the 2005 Asian American Literary Awards. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, Guernica, The Rumpus, and The Oregonian, among others.
$5 suggested donation