Although the compulsion to travel is universal, nearly all of it is only done virtually, and I’m not just talking about the internet, of course, but reading books, looking at photos, telling and hearing stories, or just thinking. We can’t stand to be confined to one miserable or paradisal spot while knowing everything else is... Read More
Coming to South Korea on a 90-day tourist visa, I never thought I would need to renew it, but thanks to the coronavirus, I had to, just last week. Encountering bureaucracy anywhere is usually stressful, but thankfully, the process here was quick and straightforward. Koreans know how to be efficient. Buses and trains always run... Read More
From the moment I was born, I’ve wanted to write a 20,000-word tribute to Barbra Streisand, but this is not it, unfortunately. I’m still not ready. Instead, I want to talk about how we routinely distort, embellish or simply erase much the past, so what’s preserved and presented is not so embarrassing. It’s a universal... Read More
Five months into the coronavirus crisis, there is no consensus about anything. When this virus was mostly limited to China, I tried to get as close as possible, so for two weeks, I stayed in Lao Cai, Vietnam. Nearly each day, I walked along the Red River to look into Yunnan, and what I saw... Read More
In South Korea, you can still get on buses and trains, or just wander around for miles at your leisure, so yesterday, I was in Gimhae. Like all Korean cities, it unashamedly flaunts nondescript, skyscraping condos and sterile, soulless churches that surely prove there is no God, for there’s no way he would tolerate so... Read More
My freshman year in college, I had an English teacher, Stanley Ward, who said, “All writing is about sex or death,” which drew laughs from us idiots, for it sounded like a joke, but if you consider how everything falls within the continuum between the generation of life and its negation, then of course Mr.... Read More
As a chicken chomping, coke snorting species, we have three main foes. 1) Beasts more ferocious than us, such as tigers, lions and, well, just about all other animals, since we’re such wimps. 2) Living organisms we can’t even see, such as viruses. 3) Other men, of course, since man is clearly man’s most lethal... Read More
Born in Vietnam in 1963, Linh Dinh came to the US in 1975, and has also lived in Italy and England. He is the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). He has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, among other places. He is also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013), and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao (2006). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. His writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and he has been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Reykjavik, Toronto and all over the US, and has also published widely in Vietnamese.