Decades ago, he and his two brothers had a chance to hop on a boat to escape overseas, but didn't, so now, all three are regretting it. Everyone they know who ended up in America has become filthy rich, they insisted, with one man coming back to build a road for his native village. You cannot fail in the USA, they kept repeating.
They thought I was in my mid 60's, so I joked, "See, look what America has done to me!"
Barely legible, "Hair Salon" in English. There's a German within half a mile, but otherwise no English speaker in the vicinity. The hair dresser got married last year, so has moved her business to her inlaws, about four miles away.
Born in Vietnam in 1963, I lived mostly in the US from 1975 until 2018, but have returned to Vietnam, where I live in remote Ea Kly. 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), and six collections of poems, with a Collected Poems apparently cancelled by Chax Press from external pressure. 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.