A Celebration of Asian-American Authors in Chicago

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Pictured above from left to right: Vu Tran showing his novel dragonfish, due out August 3, 2015, and Wailin Wong and Alec Nevala-Lee pre-reading at Open Books. 

On Friday, May 1, the Chicago Writers Conference with our partner Open Books presented “A Celebration of Asian-American Authors in Chicago” in honor of Asian-Pacific Heritage Month. The night featured four of Chicago brightest Asian-American authors reading from works old and new. Here’s a recap of the night’s highlights and a brief spotlight on each of the authors current work.
  • Wailin Wong re-created a podcast, mixing audio with live reading. This podcast about The World’s Largest Laundromat was produced for The Distance.
  • Vu Tran, a Whitings Writers’ Award winner, read from his forthcoming novel, dragonfish. He prefaced the reading by warning us that he could only do “a bad Vietnamese accent.” When he got to the part where a character spoke with a Vietnamese accent, Vu paused and said to the audience, “I feel like Al Pacino!’
  • Alec Nevala-Lee, read Kawataro, a science fiction piece written in tribute to Japanese horror. Nevala-Lee, an Oak Park resident, has penned three art-world thrillers since leaving his job at a financial firm in New York to pursue his passion for writing: The Icon Thief, City of Exiles, and Eternal Empire.
  • Nami Mun closed out the night with a reading from her story Apartment 1G. She told the audience she had originally set out to write a comedic piece, to counter-balance her prior work, including her novel Miles from Nowhere, which was fairly dark. She ended up writing a story wherein one of the main characters is scalped.


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