The Gangster We Are All Looking For

*NOTE: Do not watch this until you’ve read past page 79, or the chapter titled “The Gangster We Are All Looking For”. There are tons of spoilers in this post and in the video.

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As corny as it sounds, I love hearing authors read out passages from their books. I stumbled upon this gem of a video friday afternoon, assuming it’d just be her reading a passage; however, it is so much better than that. After 12:54, Thuy answers questions from the students at the community college in regards to her book. The first question is why the narrator isn’t named, and Thuy elaborates in regards to Vietnamese culture and familial relations. There are also questions addressed in this video that we brought up in today’s class regarding to the structure of the book, the narrator’s brother, and others. She even answers what “gangster” means in the book, and that’s pretty handy!

Fun fact: she’s working on a trilogy, so the narrator of The Gangster We Are All Looking For will have a name in the second book!

Aside from analysis, Thuy has such an amazing reading voice. I honestly went gaga over it. She’s very quiet, calm, collected, and charismatic (I really like alliteration…), easily mesmerizing the audience. I know none of you have 40 minutes to spare, but I assure you that during tonight’s reading if you are unclear or need some perspective, definitely check this out for it will help you! The video is also fairly recent, from March 2010 (the book was published seven years ago). Enjoy!

One Response to “The Gangster We Are All Looking For”

  1. amorin Says:

    What a great video. Thanks for finding and posting it. I particularly found what she said about the father/daughter dynamic interesting. I liked that she pointed out that many stories about the immigrant experience focus on the mother/daughter relationship, and that she wanted to write about something different.

    Jumping off of the father/daughter relationship in her book, I also thought that her ideas about masculinity in Vietnam and the U.S. were fascinating. Her words really gave me a deeper insight and better understanding of the novel and the workings of its characters.

    I agree with you about her reading, as well. Her voice is very soothing and thoughtful. I also love hearing works read aloud, especially by the author. It usually gives a new depth to the piece.


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