Three families of refugees from the war in Vietnam occupy three bedrooms in a San Francisco Victorian. Their struggles to rebuild their lives tie together in Angie Chau’s debut short-story collection, Quiet As They Come, which the San Francisco Chronicle has called “a powerful mix of tragedy and kindness, of miscommuni- cations and all-too-painful empathy.” By interlinking her stories, Chau invites us to compare and contrast the short-story collection with the novel as a literary form. Her use of multiple viewpoints to create a reality shared by different characters raises interesting questions of craft. We’ll have much to discuss with her at the March meeting.
Angie Chau was born in Vietnam. She has also lived in Malaysia, Italy, Spain, Hawaii, and currently resides in California. She earned a BA in Southeast Asian Culture and Political Economy (ISF) from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis from the University of California, Davis, where she was the fiction editor for The Greenbelt Review. She has been awarded a Hedgebrook Residency, an Anderson Center Residency, and a Macondo Foundation Fellowship. Her work has appeared in the Indiana Review, Santa Clara Review, Night Train Magazine, and the most recent Heyday Books anthology, New California Writing. In 2009 she won the UC Davis Maurice Prize in Fiction. Her memoir, Quiet As They Come, was a Finalist in First Fiction for The Commonwealth Club Book of the Year Award and a Finalist in Fiction for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award.
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