Thursday, July 14, 7pm – Fiction
Phong Nguyen author of Memory Sickness and Other Stories (Elixir Press)
The son of a Vietnamese-American immigrant scholar and a daughter of the revolution, Phong Nguyen grew up outside of Princeton, New Jersey, where he was a confirmed member of the infamously under-achieving generation X. After attending college for a year, he dropped out to live on the beach and work at a series of crappy jobs. In a used bookstore in New Haven, he discovered Marcel Proust’s THE REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST, and did not put it down for nearly a year. After finishing the book, Nguyen committed his life to writing, and proceeded to complete a Master’s degree at Emerson College, where he studied with Dewitt Henry, and a PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he studied with George Makana Clark.
Phong Nguyen is now an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Central Missouri, where he teaches fiction-writing and edits the literary journal PLEIADES. Before editing for PLEIADES, he was chief editor of CREAM CITY REVIEW, and before that, an editorial assistant at THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.
His own stories have appeared in AGNI, BOULEVARD, IOWA REVIEW, KENYON REVIEW, MASSACHUSETTS REVIEW, NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, FLORIDA REVIEW, MISSISSIPPI REVIEW, MERIDIAN, NEW OHIO REVIEW, TEXAS REVIEW, PHOEBE, CHATTAHOOCHEE REVIEW, SOUTHERN INDIANA REVIEW, and dozens of other literary journals. His stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.
His first collection of stories, MEMORY SICKNESS AND OTHER STORIES, won the Elixir Press Fiction Award for 2010, and was published in June 1st of 2011. Don Lee, editor of PLOUGHSHARES and author of YELLOW, has called MEMORY SICKNESS “a superb debut” full of stories that “pulse with poetry, power, and grit,” adding, “This is a truly memorable collection.” William Giraldi, editor of AGNI, and author of BUSY MONSTERS, said, “Phong Nguyen has crafted stories with zero at the bone, stories of how the child is father of the man, of what we do to one another in this world, and what we do to ourselves. … This book will scar you.” And Benjamin Percy, author of THE WILDING, called these “gritty, moving stories.”