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Monday, April 28, 2014



This week, I went up to NYC to meet with Seven Stories Press, my prose publisher, and they've agreed to put out a Postcards from the End of America book in the Fall of 2015. In 2011, I thought I would do a Postcards book with Kaya Press, but that fell through. In retrospect, I'm glad it didn't come out then, since the book wasn't ready.

Postcards from the End of America will be roughly 250 pages, with maybe 16 pages of photos. When I'm finally compelled to shut down this project, at least there will be a tangible result and summary of it in the form of this book. In the meantime, I'm still hoping that my Hatchfund campaign will be successful, for it would be awfully nice to add, say, Seattle and Boise Postcards to both blog and book.



Anonymous said...

Hi Linh,

maybe you should try the other approach: not take photos of "poor" America, but rather photos of the "rich" America, the one that is disappearing. Because when "rich" America is gone, "poor" America is to stay forever. So no need to preserve memories of that.

What say you?

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Anonymous,

There is a bit of the rich America on this blog, as in my images of Santana Row in San Jose, but the primary reason I focus on the poorer aspect of America is that it is mostly hidden from view, while the affluent side of this country is already loudly trumpeted through the media. Nearly every show and commercial on television shows a rich America. Even the reality shows and sporting events mostly feature a rich America, and the music videos obviously do this also. Like Pinter said, America is expert at marketing itself. When I lived in Vietnam during 1999-2001, I had a hard time convincing many people that Americans don't all live in these vast houses with a two or three-car garage.

A second reason I don't photograph rich people and their environments more often is that I have little access to them. Theoretically, I can go to the fancy bars and chat up people with money and get their stories, but since I can barely afford the cheapest bars, this isn't going to happen.

Lastly, what's seen as poor America in my photos will come off as rich in the future, for we will be much poorer soon enough. In the Washington Heights photos, kids are still fashionally dressed in Nike and brand name clothes.


anarchist said...

Congratulations for your book deal. I do think this is an important project, because it reveals the Empire's propaganda as hollow and underlines what quite a few people have stated for a while - namely that the USA resemble more and more a Third World country by its incarcaration rate, rate of violent crimes, income inequality, poverty levels and infant mortality.

Of course, for one of the .1% oligarchs, life is beautiful in their gated communities. For the rest in the barrios, not so much...

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news. Your book will be my companion piece to The Wire.


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I lived mostly in the US from 1975 until 2018, and have returned to my native Saigon. I've also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), a novel, Love Like Hate (2010), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six collections of poems, with a Collected Poems soon to be released from Chax Press. 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 Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Japanese, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in Tokyo, London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.