“The Reeducation of Cherry Truong” is the story of two refugee families − the Truongs and the Vos − and their yearning for reconciliation, redemption and a place to call home in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Cherry Truong’s parents have exiled her wayward older brother from their Southern California home, sending him to Vietnam to live with distant relatives. Determined to bring him back, 21-year-old Cherry travels to her parents’ native country and finds herself uncovering decades-old secrets − hidden loves, desperate choices and lives ripped apart by the march of war and the currents of history.
Phan grew up in Orange County, Calif., and now teaches in the MFA Writing Program and Writing and Literature Program at California College of the Arts. A 2010 National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, she received her MFA from the University of Iowa, where she won a Maytag Fellowship. Her first book, “We Should Never Meet,” was named a Notable Book by the Kiryama Prize in fiction and a finalist for the 2005 Asian American Literary Awards. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Arts Colony and Hedgebrook. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, Guernica, The Rumpus and The Oregonian, among others.
The reading is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Linfield English Department, Friends of Nicholson Library, the Department of Theatre and Communication Arts, and the Program for Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement (PLACE). PLACE is designed to encourage the exchange of ideas across disciplines, promote civic engagement and pique intellectual curiosity through a shared theme. Phan’s novel offers an example of how women write about war, a subtopic within this year’s PLACE theme, “The Legacies of War.”
For more information, contact Susan Barnes Whyte, director of Linfield libraries, 503-883-2517, or Barbara Seidman, English Department chair, 503-883-2210.