Blood is thicker than water, but this has never stopped intra-family drama.
Join us for an evening of conversation with Catherine Chung (Forgotten Country), Mai Der Vang (How do I Begin?: A Hmong American Literary Anthology), and Dina Nayeri (A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea) about history, separations and schisms, and the personal/political migratory pressures that shape and squeeze families.
Catherine Chung was born in Evanston, IL, and grew up in New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. Writing has been her life-long passion, but she had a brief, one-sided affair with mathematics before completing her MFA at Cornell. Forgotten Country won an Honorable Mention for the 2013 PEN/Hemingway Award. It was also picked for Booklist‘s Top 10 Debut Novels of 2012, and Bookpage’s and The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Best Books of 2012 lists. Catherine is the recipient of a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing, a Granta New Voice, and a fiction editor at Guernica Magazine. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Adelphi University.
Mai Der Vang is a first-generation Hmong American poet. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, The Collagist, Weave Magazine, The Boiler, the Lantern Review, and the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education & Advancement, and Paj Ntaub Voice. Her poems have been anthologized in Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora and How Do I Begin: A Hmong American Literary Anthology where she served on the editorial board of the Hmong American Writers’ Circle. From 2006-2012, she served as Director at The Know Youth Media, a project of New America Media. She has completed residencies at Hedgebrook and is a fellow of Kundiman. Mai Der received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley and currently she is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Columbia University.
Dina Nayeri was born in the middle of a revolution in Iran and moved to Oklahoma at ten-years-old. Her debut novel, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, was released in 2013 by Riverhead Books (Penguin) and translated to 14 foreign languages. Her work is published in over 20 countries and has been recognized by Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers, Best American Short Stories, Best American Non-required Reading, Granta New Voices, and The Center for Fiction (Flaherty Dunnan prize long list). Her stories and essays have also appeared in Marie Claire, Glamour, Salon, Guernica, The Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review and elsewhere. She holds an MBA and a Master of Education, both from Harvard, and a BA from Princeton. She has worked in high fashion, management consulting, university admissions, investment banking, and once as a grumpy lifeguard. Now, having completed her MFA at the Iowa Writers Workshop where she was a Truman Capote Fellow and Teaching Writing Fellow, Dina is at work on her second novel (also about an Iranian family).