August 19, 2011
First anthology of literature by Vietnamese-Americans published by women's studies/English professor
Michele Janette, associate professor of English and head of the women's studies program, has published the first comprehensive anthology of literature in English written by Vietnamese immigrants and first-generation Vietnamese Americans. "Mỹ Viẹt: Vietnamese American Literature in English 1962-present" came out this summer from University of Hawaii Press.
Twentieth-century America reduced Vietnam to "'Nam": the surreal site of a military nightmare. The early 21st- century has seen the revision of this image to recognize the people and culture of Vietnam itself. Vietnamese-Americans, both immigrants and the American children of immigrants, have participated in changing this perception, consistently presenting their side of the story in memoirs published since the 1960s.
"Mỹ Viẹt" is the first anthology to provide a comprehensive overview of these memoirs and the historical picture they offer and to include Vietnamese writing that goes beyond memoir, revealing a new generation of Vietnamese American poetry, fiction and drama.