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Catfish and Mandala

A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam

Catfish and Mandala by Andrew X. Pham
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A Vietnamese Bicycle Days by a stunning new voice in American letters.

Andrew X. Pham dreamed of becoming a writer. Born in Vietnam and raised in California, he held technical jobs at United Airlines-and always carried a letter of resignation in his briefcase. His father had been a POW of the Vietcong; his family came to America as "boat people." His sister committed suicide, prompting Andrew to quit his job. He sold all of his possessions and embarked on a year-long bicycle journey that took him through the Mexican desert, where he was treated as a bueno hermano, a "good brother"; around a thousand-mile loop from Narita to Kyoto in Japan; and, after five months and 2,357 miles, to Saigon, where he finds "nothing familiar in the bombed-out darkness." In Mexico he's treated kindly as a Vietnamito, though he shouts, "I'm American, Vietnamese American!" In Vietnam, he's taken for Japanese or Korean by his countrymen, except, of course, by his relatives, who doubt that as a Vietnamese he has the stamina to complete his journey ("Only Westerners can do it"); and in the United States he's considered anything but American. A vibrant, picaresque memoir written with narrative flair and a wonderful, eye-opening sense of adventure, Catfish and Mandala is an unforgettable search for cultural identity.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux; April 2010
336 pages; ISBN 9781429979924
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Title: Catfish and Mandala
Author: Andrew X. Pham
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Loft Minnesota Emerging Writers' grant winners - St. Paul Asian American Press
Sat, 27 Aug 2016 12:32:48 -0700
Loft Minnesota Emerging Writers' grant winnersSt. Paul Asian American PressAndrew X. Pham is the author of Catfish and ...
Author Andrew X. Pham Speaks at Mission College - Santa Clara Weekly
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:06:28 -0700
Santa Clara WeeklyAuthor Andrew X. Pham Speaks at Mission CollegeSanta Clara WeeklyPham wrote “Catfish and Mandala” and “The ...
Fall from Grace - Washington Post
Sat, 19 Jul 2008 04:43:28 -0700
Fall from GraceWashington PostPoised to inherit everything, Thong Pham instead lost it all, as Andrew X. Pham, his son, ...
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