Visionary writer Maxine Hong Kingston has been writing about war and peace since her landmark 1976 book The Woman Warrior. Her lifelong efforts on this theme often touched on the Vietnam War, from China Men to The Fifth Book of Peace. These works influenced award-winning novelist and critic Viet Thanh Nguyen as he dealt with the war in both fiction (The Sympathizer) and scholarship (Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War). Both writers will share the ALOUD stage to discuss their own personal histories with the war, and the responsibility of literature in depicting war machines and peace movements.
Click here for photos from the program.
Maxine Hong Kingston is Senior Lecturer for Creative Writing at the University of California, Berkeley. For her memoirs and fiction, The Fifth Book of Peace, The Woman Warrior, China Men, Tripmaster Monkey, I Love a Broad Margin to My Life, and Hawai’i One Summer, she has earned numerous awards, among them the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the PEN West Award for Fiction, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, and a National Humanities Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as the title of “Living Treasure of Hawai’i.” In July 2014, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama.
Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. His stories have appeared in Best New American Voices, TriQuarterly, Narrative, and the Chicago Tribune and he is the author of the academic book Race and Resistance. His first novel, The Sympathizer won the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction and the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. His nonfiction book, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War will be published in April 2016. He teaches English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.