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Charles Waugh Celebrates Book Launch with a Reading at the AWP Conference in Washington, DC


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Associate Professor Charles Waugh celebrated the launch of his new book, Wild Mustard: New Voices from Vietnam, with a reading at the AWP conference in Washington, DC last week. Wild Mustard is an anthology of prizewinning short fiction by contemporary Vietnamese writers co-translated and co-edited by Waugh, Nguyen Lien, and Van Gia. It throws into relief the transformations of self and place that followed Vietnam’s turn toward a market economy in 1986. In just three decades since the policy known as doi moi (renovation) ended collectivization and integrated Vietnam into world markets, the country has transformed from one of the poorest and most isolated on earth into a dynamic global economy. The nineteen stories in this volume capture the kaleidoscopic experiences of Vietnam's youth, navigating between home and newly expanded horizons as they seek new opportunities through migration, education, and integration not only into their nation but the world.

In the tradition of the "Under 40" collections popularized by magazines such as the New Yorker and Granta, but with greater stakes and greater differences between the previous generation of writers and this new one, Wild Mustard seeks to change how North American readers think of Vietnam. Escaping the common fixation on the Vietnam War and its aftermath, these stories reflect the movement and dynamism of the young Vietnamese who locate themselves amid the transnational encounters and proliferating identities of 
a global economy.