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Journalist Andrew Lam

Gena Asher speaks with writer Andrew Lam, author of "Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora."

Andrew Lam

What I have come to [conclude] is that the best way to deal with the past is not to pretend amnesia, but to appropriate it . . . to render it into esthetic expressions.

Andrew Lam is a journalist, commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered, and an editor with New America Media, a national collaboration of 2,000 ethnic news organizations. His essays have appeared in dozens of newspapers including the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lam has won multiple literary and journalism awards including the Outstanding Young Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

He was born in South Vietnam and left with his family during the fall of Saigon. His collection of essays, Perfume Dreams, discusses the problem of identity as a Vietnamese living in the U.S.

His next book, a collection of short stories titled Birds of Paradise, will be published in 2013.

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