Acclaimed Viet Kieu to introduce her play, novel in Ho Chi Minh City

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Award-winning poet, novelist, and performance artist lê thi diem thúy will perform in Vietnam for the first time Saturday.


lê, who left Vietnam on a boat at age of 6 in 1978, will perform a short, informal excerpt of her first solo performance Mua He Do Lua, known in the US as Red Fiery Summer, at the San Art, Gallery in Ho Chi Minh City.


The piece is a compilation of poems, prose, and some monologues that she wrote during the early 1990s. The performance refers to war, its aftermath and images of old Indochina.


lê, who says she keeps her name un-capitalized merely as a preference and for no special reason, will then read from the title chapter of her award-winning debut novel The Gangster We Are Looking For which was first published in 1996.


The novel narrates the life of a Vietnamese family in America "through the knowing eyes of a child finding her place and voice in a new country," Random House, Inc. said in promotional material for the novel.


The chapter has appeared on Harper's Magazine and "The Very Inside" anthology and is now available in Vietnamese translation.


Lê is a recipient of fellowships from the Radcliffe and Guggenheim foundations.


lê was selected by the Village Voice as a "Writer on the Verge" and she is now working on another novel, based on her second solo performance work the bodies between us.


Her two solo performances have been presented at many venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the International Women Playwright's Festival in Ireland, and the Third New Immigrants' Play Festival at the Vineyard Theater in New York City.


lê's performance in HCMC will start 5 p.m. The venue is located at 3 Me Linh Street, Binh Thanh District. Entrance is free.


Discussions will be held afterward in Vietnamese and English, facilitated by guest artist and curator Viet Le, a researcher at Center for Khmer Studies in Cambodia and a student for doctoral degree at University of Southern California.

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