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Bich Minh Nguyen  

Author of "Pioneer Girl," "Stealing Buddha's Dinner" and "Short Girls"

Bich Minh Nguyen (pronounced Bit Min New-`win), who often goes by Beth, was a baby when her family fled Vietnam on April 29, 1975. They eventually settled in Michigan, where Nguyen grew up. These experiences formed the basis of her memoir, "Stealing Buddha’s Dinner," which received the PEN/Jerard Award and was named a best book of the year by The Chicago Tribune. Nguyen has appeared on programs such as PBS NewsHour and NPR’s All Things Considered to discuss the prevalent themes in her book—immigration, food, and family—and how they relate to so many other areas of life. "Stealing Buddha’s Dinner" has also been selected for numerous all-college and all-community reads.

Her first novel, "Short Girls," was published by Penguin in 2010; it received an American Book Award and was named a Library Journal best book. Nguyen’s most recent book is the novel "Pioneer Girl," published by Viking in 2014, about a Vietnamese-American family with mysterious ties to the real-life Laura Ingalls Wilder family. Nguyen’s work has also appeared in the New York Times, the FOUND anthology, and the Huffington Post. She also coedited three anthologies: 30/30: Thirty American Stories from the Last Thirty Years (Penguin Academic), Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: I & Eye (Longman), and The Contemporary American Short Story (Longman).

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Speech Topics


Stealing Buddha’s Dinner

Immigration

Vietnamese American Experience

Asian American Literature

Childhood and Adolescence

Memoir

Creative Writing

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