Same same, but different! diaCRITICS announces the debut of Ly Nguyen’s novella Same Same and a book launch on October 28, 2012, at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center in California’s East Bay. The following press release by Khoi Nguyen and Danny Thanh Nguyen describes the novella and the book launch event—Talk To Me: Personal Conversations with Local Vietnamese American Artists—which will feature a discussion between author Ly Nguyen and Bay Area filmmaker Tony Nguyen, whose courageous documentary film Enforcing the Silence we reviewed in 2011.
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Bay Area author Ly Nguyen debuts her stunning novella Same Same: an intimate look at the life of Mai, whose childhood is spent helping her mother run a nail salon. Same Same unveils a world beyond the cheap acrylic nails and Patrick Nagel posters that Beauty Nails’ patrons see. The chapters of this novella migrates readers through landscapes, both geographical and emotional. From the ancient town of Hoi An where Mai rediscovers her family’s history, to a wet grey Seattle where her mother suffers suicidal depression, and finally the city of San Francisco where her family struggles to build a new life and identity.
Drawing from personal experiences, Ly Nguyen—whose family ran a Richmond district salon—crafts a story that is complex and heartfelt. Same Same provides a poignant insight into an overlooked experience of the modern day Vietnamese diaspora. Nguyen’s writing has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul, Nha magazine, and As Is.
Come meet the author at Talk to Me at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center on Sunday, October 28, 2012, from 2-4pm. The book launch will feature an artist conversation between Ly Nguyen and filmmaker Tony Nguyen (Enforcing the Silence). Both artists will share their experiences of creating art from family stories, as well as independent funding and production in a time when institutional support is rapidly being replaced by technological and social networking resources. Q&A with the audience. Copies of Same Same will be available for purchase.
Oakland Asian Cultural Center is located at 388 Ninth Street, Suite 290, in Oakland, CA, 94607. Phone number is 510.637.0455.
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