Twentieth-century America reduced Vietnam to "'Nam" the surreal site of a military nightmare. The early twenty-first century has seen the revision of this image to recognize the people and culture of Vietnam itself. Vietnamese Americans, both immigrants and the American children of immigrants, have participated in changing this perception, consistently presenting their side of the story in memoirs published since the 1960s. My Viet is the first anthology to provide a comprehensive overview of these memoirs and the historical picture they offer and to include Vietnamese writing that goes beyond memoir, revealing a new generation of Vietnamese American poetry, fiction, and drama.
The narratives in Part 1, Tales of Witness, treat the major events of the Vietnamese diasapora: Vietnam's resistance to French colonization, the "Vietnam War," post-war Vietnamese life, immigration to and life in America, and reconnections with contemporary Vietnam. Part 2, Tales of Imagination, moves beyond the master narratives of war and immigration to survey exciting innovations in the work of Vietnamese American writers. The texts demonstrate the full flowering of Vietnamese American literature in English and are among the best contemporary writings of any category.
My Viet presents a rich, varied, and provocative collection of literary work that explores Vietnam from many Vietnamese points of view, sees America through a specifically Vietnamese American lens, and broadens the scope of Vietnamese American literature to its fullest extent.