English Professor Lisa Lowe reads lê thị diễm thúy’s The Gangster We Are All Looking For, a memoir-esqe novel published in 2004.
Back in 1978, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, lê thị diễm thúy escaped her hometown on just a small fishing boat with her father and her siblings. Eventually, they were picked up by an American naval ship and were sent to Southern California, along with other refugee immigrants.
Today she is a poet/performance artist/ researcher of French colonial picture postcards, in Northhampton, MA. As a result, her novel reads like a series of poetry, with narratives shaped around images, objects and scenes. The structure, too, is very non-linear, with a jumpy timeline and the absence of the traditional plot development.
Lowe is not only an English professor, she has written several books on Asian American immigration and taught my Decolonization/Colonialism class at Tufts University. I know that part of the point of It’s Lit is to interview non-English professors, so that the conversation can stay more conversational… but I promise that our interview won’t feel like a lecture, even if Lowe did used to teach this book in literature classes back at UC San Diego.
Produced by Shirley Wang