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Thursday, September 26, 2013

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If-you,-or-someone-you-love-suffered--Norristown








Right after photographing this, a middle-aged man asked me, "Are you a vet?" He was very obviously drunk.

"No," I simply said, though I should have said, "No, but I was in 'Nam!"

If I remember correctly, he was no more than 55, but I couldn't gauge, right then and there, if he could have been a Vietnam vet. In which case, it may not be wise to shout "'Nam" at him.



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1 comment:

swindled said...

I'm almost 57 and, I believe, missed 'Nam by a little more than a year. So if you gauged his age correctly he almost certainly wasn't there. Nixon, I believe (this can all be looked up, of course--but I'm lazy), suspended the draft in '73, though obviously the fighting continued. That year I was actually in Milano with my parents, my father working for Honeywell/Bull, playing soccer and attending an international school and generally having the time of my life .. and gave serious thought to not getting back on the plane for the States when my father's work stint was over. But ultimately decided I could never do that because I couldn't have lived with the knowledge of someone going in my place (though this logic certainly didn't deter others!). Keep up the good writing, Linh. I'm awful busy but read your stuff when I can.

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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy and England. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, among other places. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013), and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao (2006). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Reykjavik, Toronto and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.