Lucy Nguyen-Hong-Nhiem and Jason Rainey

Dr. Nguyen-Hong-Nhiem

Next Thursday will mark Lucy Nguyen-Hong-Nhiem’s seventy-second birthday. Soon after that Viet Nam Literature Project will print Jason Rainey’s comic book about her as a gift to our supporters.

Tales of a Dragon Child tells stories adapted from Lucy’s memoir Dragon Child: Reflections of a Daughter of Annam in America.  It also covers her scholarship on author Pham Van Ky and Lucy’s return trip to Viet Nam after living in America for 35 years.

Lucy Nguyen-Hong-Nhiem
Dragon Child

The first strip introduces Lucy’s childhood in Viet Nam, emigration, and teaching in Massachusetts.  Lucy began teaching at 14 to pay tuition after Communists destroyed her father’s farm.

After emigration in 1975 she educated young immigrants to high standards for their own ambitions.  Her collection with anthropologist Joel Martin Halpern, The Far East Comes Near: Autobiographical Accounts of Southeast Asian Students in America captures the first generation of young people making their way in the United States after escaping the fall of Phnom Penh, Saigon and Vientiane.

Lucy Nguyen's Parents
Lessons from the Garden

The second strip, “Lessons from the Garden” is about Lucy’s parents. It retells an old story Lucy heard from her mother and an example her father set.

The old story is about twin brothers in love with one woman. Her father’s example was to bang his head on a wall.

Lucy Nguyen — An Unexpected Clash
An Unexpected Clash

“An Unexpected Clash” shows Lucy’s work with novelist Pham Van Ky. His themes make an eloquent commentary on Lucy’s life.

Pham Van Ky wrote of the individual and the collective, contrasting France and Viet Nam. Lucy’s own life is a parable about gaining individual power to serve others.

Dragon Child Returns

“Dragon Child Returns” tells of her first visit back to Viet Nam. Lucy provided Jason with photos and spoke to us about her trip.

He shows Lucy’s visit to her brother, a priest who has returned to work with a national minority.  For the print collection Jason has added an original cover, title page and endpapers to the four strips.

Jason Rainey at his drawing table

Jason came to Viet Nam Literature Project through his studio-mate Jonathan Hill.  We are proud to have commissioned his book on Lucy like last year’s on Nhat Linh.

For the booklet of all four Lucy stories make a donation now in any amount.  Support for VNLP promotes talent.

Viet Nam Literature Project publishes a free on-line encyclopedia including our comics and translations. Donors receive our print newsletter and annual comic book.

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