The Writer’s Block: A Video Q&A with Vu Tran
Vu Tran is the author of Dragonfish, a risk-taking literary crime novel that concerns the disappearance of a Vietnamese woman, and her pursuit by her husband, an Oakland police officer. Dragonfish raises issues of identity, refuge, nostalgia, and history, with some parallels to his own past. Tran was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1975, after the city had been taken by the North Vietnamese. Vu Tran’s father, a captain in the South Vietnamese Air Force, had to flee the country. Five years later, Tran, his mother, and his seven-year-old sister escaped Vietnam by boat and ended up in a Malaysian refugee camp. Four months later, Tran’s father sponsored them and reunited with them in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Tran met his father for the first time.
On February 12, Tran read from Dragonfish at a City of Asylum Salon Reading. Prior to the event, he spoke to Sampsonia Way about Dragonfish, his writing process and family history, the development of his fictional characters and his own development in the process of writing the book.