Nam Le

» Episode 5: Found in Translation

“My father arrived on a rainy morning.”

Nam Le was born in Vietnam, raised in Australia, and came to the United States to attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His work has appeared in Zoetrope, One Story, A Public Space, the 2007 Pushcart Prize anthology, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007. He is the fiction editor of The Harvard Review.

His debut collection, The Boat, features stories set in Iran, Colombia, Vietnam, the United States, Japan, and Australia. Le said, “The geographical scope of these stories probably does speak to some innate wanderlust in my nature. I’ve done a fair bit of traveling myself. . . . It’s not a stretch to say that the reasons why I travel and why I write/read are similar: to see other things, other places, situations and people, through other eyes.”

The book has already received wide acclaim. In O: The Oprah Magazine, critic Vince Passaro wrote:

“Nam Le was born in Vietnam and raised in Australia, yet his debut collection of stories . . . reveals as mature and certain an American voice as just about any native-born writer twice his age. His prose evokes Philip Roth's - sure of itself, clean, and invisibly effective. . . . The final and longest story in the book, ‘The Boat,’ takes on the deepest issues of life, love, and death, something worthy of Conrad or James.”

See what others are saying:

A World of Stories From a Son of Vietnam
By Michiko Kakutani. The New York Times, May 13, 2008

Stories to Explore Someone Else’s Skin
By Patricia Cohen. The New York Times, May 14, 2008

The Boat
By Laird Hunt. Bookforum, Apr./May, 2008

Also in Episode 5: Found in Translation