TRAN K. NGUYEN WINS IN OUR SUBSCRIBER DRIVE! diaCRITICS wants to add 100 new subscribers! The 25th, 50th, 75th, and 100th subscribers (and those who referred them) get their pick of prizes. Tran K. Nguyen is our 75th subscriber and has chosen Heonik Kwon’s Ghosts of War in Vietnam as her prize. If you enjoy reading our posts as much as these winners do, then we encourage you to subscribe!  And if you want to refer people and are on networked blogs, you can invite all your friends on Facebook to join via networked blogs! We are well on our way to our 50th new subscriber.

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A little more information about Tran K. Nguyen comes below.          

Tran K. Nguyen

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Where are you from?

I’m from beautiful Da Lat – the city of flower in Vietnam. I lived there for 18 years. Then, I moved to Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh City) for two years before I moved to the U.S.


Tell us something else about yourself.

I’m now a sophomore at Berea College in Kentucky. I haven’t declared my major yet, but my intended major is Political Science. I’m a member of the Berea Concert Choir and the Berea Speech and Debate Team. Singing and debate accounts for a big part of my free time. The remaining time I normally spend on volunteering, practicing piano, cooking, and reading books.

I love volunteering. When I was in Sai Gon, I was a full-time volunteer for Friends For Street Children Association, a non-government organization which seeks to help disadvantaged and street children in and around Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The experience gave me a lot of insights into life. Now, in Berea, KY, I still kept myself occupied with different volunteering opportunities such as the Food Drive, the Adopt-A-Grandparents program, etc.


Do you have a favorite Vietnamese or Vietnamese diasporic work of art? If so, tell us about it.

I grew up reading near all books by Nguyen Nhat Anh. Some people may say like Harry Potter, they are not work of art. However, to be honest, I can’t really change my answer just because others tell me it is not right. I love the humor, simplicity, but depth of Nguyen’s stories. He always gives me a relaxing feeling of walking in a peaceful and beautiful countryside of Vietnam.

If I am stressed to be deep, I would say another favorite book of mine is “Ben Thang Cuoc” by Huy Duc. His work is still very debatable, but I would appreciate his initiative in writing about another aspect of Vietnam war.


Did someone refer you to subscribe to diacritics?

My dear friend and sister, Lucy Nga Than refers me to subscribe diacritics.


ghosts of war in vietnam

Tran chose Heonik Kwon’s Ghosts of War in Vietnam, a fascinating study of the Vietnamese experience and memory of the Vietnam War. Heonik Kwon illuminates critical issues of war and collective memory in Vietnam by examining stories about spirits of the dead claiming social justice and about his own efforts to wrestle with the presence of ghosts.

“Ghosts of War in Vietnam is anthropology at its best. It will without doubt become a classic text of anthropology, and I hope one that is crucial to international relations, religious studies, sociological theory, political science, cold war studies, and conflict, war, and peace studies.” -Alpa Shah, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“Highly recommended” -Choice

‘unique and revealing’. -New York Review of Books

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