The publication of books is important because it is one of the main vehicles through which writers and poets are recognized.
In 2020, although whites compose 60% of the American population, 89% of all books published in 2018 were by white writers. Who gets to write and be published is not a matter of talent alone. Literary prizes make publishing appear more diverse than it is. Only 22 of the 220 books on The New York Times bestsellers list for fiction in 2020 were written by people of color.*
DVAN produces its own books to fight against invisibility and preconceived notions. DVAN also collaborates with independent and university presses to translate and publish books by writers of the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diaspora to fight racial bias and expand understanding between and within communities.
Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Literature and Art by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora
Our award-winning anthology, Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Literature and Art by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora, released in paperback in Spring 2020, is taught in universities nationwide. Curated and edited by Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Lan Duong, Mariam Lam, and Kathy Nguyen, the anthology was first published by Washington University Press in 2014. It was recipient of the 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title and Bronze Book Award 2015 from the Association for Borderlands Studies.
Troubling Borders showcases creative writing and visual artworks by 62 women of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao, Thai, and Filipino ancestry. These 62 contributors are writers and artists who’ve been shaped by colonization, wars, globalization, and militarization. Their provocative and accessible creations tell unique stories and provide sharp contrasts to familiar stereotypes—Southeast Asian women as exotic sex symbols, dragon ladies, prostitutes, or “bar girls”—and serve as entry points for broader discussions about questions of history, memory, and identity.
On Being a Writer: Vietnamese Diaspora in Dialogues (forthcoming 2021)
The first DVAN Writers Residency brought together ten writers and three academics from five different countries to participate in a week-long residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and a public event hosted by the San Jose Museum of Art. DVAN invited these writers to engage in dialogues and recorded them. These conversations were so rich and meaningful that we invited more writers to participate in the project, leading to the production of this upcoming book.
Edited by leading scholars Viet Thanh Nguyen, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud and Lan Duong, this book will be a first of its kind to engage a global perspective on the plurality of Vietnamese diasporic experience and imaginaries. By bringing together writers and poets from different countries to speak with each other about issues that are important to them as writers, DVAN is providing a valuable, critical academic tool that will invigorate conversations around Vietnamese diasporic literature and literature in general.
Embedded within this project is the view that literary productions – as with any cultural productions – are not produced or received in a vacuum, void of history and political implications and intentions. Writers are engaged in the worlds they create on the page, while simultaneously responding to and questioning the axes of power that are prevalent in the societies in which they live.
Developed in collaboration with the Critical Refugees Studies Collective, and compiled from curated conversations between over thirty writers of the Vietnamese diaspora who were invited to participate in DVAN public events and residencies, this nonfiction book publication gathers dialogues between Vietnamese writers from the U.S., France, Germany, Canada, Israel, and Indonesia.
Writers in this collection include: Amy Quan Barry, Thi Bui, Cathy Linh Che, Duy Doan, Duong Van Mai Elliott, Le Ly Hayslip, Violet Kupersmith, Thanhha Lai, Nam Le, Anna Moï, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Hoa Nguyen, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Aimee Phan, Bao Phi, Abbigail Rosewood, Dao Strom, Kim Thuy, Vu Tran, Monique Truong, Ocean Vuong; and more.
Our Collaborations with Publishing Houses/Presses
A Diasporic Vietnamese Imprint with Kaya Press
The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN)/Kaya series introduces literary works — including fiction, poetry, memoir, and graphic novels from diasporic communities that expand the scope and understanding of the Vietnamese diasporic experience and imaginaries. Special attention is given to works in translation and to established writers from countries outside of the U.S.
The first book of the Series will be Line Papin’s Les Os Des Filles (forthcoming, 2021) (2016 Prix Littéraire de la Vocation, France).
Editorial Team: Viet Thanh Nguyen, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Ben Tran, Thang Dao, Karl Britto, Nguyen Phan Que Mai, Monique Truong / Coordinator: Vina Vo
Kaya Press was founded in 1994 and is known as a premier publisher of cutting-edge Asian and Pacific Islander and diasporic literature in the United States.
A Vietnamese/Southeast Asian American Imprint with Texas Tech University Press
The DVAN/TTUP series publishes Vietnamese and Southeast Asian American novels, memoirs, poetry, anthologies, and graphic novels. This series seeks to foster dialogue and understanding by supporting new contemporary authors whose rich and complex stories need to be championed and heard.
Editorial Team: Viet Thanh Nguyen, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Ben Tran, Karl Britto, Nguyen Phan Que Mai, Monique Truong / Coordinator: Katharina Nguyen / Selection Editors for 2020-2021: Marguerite Nguyen and Nguyen Qui Duc
About Texas Tech University Press
Texas Tech University Press (TTU Press) is part of the Texas Tech University Press since 1971 and a member of the Association of American University Presses since 1987. Although it mostly publishes academic books, it also features literary works such as biography and memoirs. The DVAN/TTUP partnership expands its scope and reach.