AAP staff report
EDINA (April 16, 2011) – Nguyen Ngoc Bao was the guest of Hennepin County Library’s “Author Talk” last Saturday at Southdale Library in Edina. The successful engineer and founder of the Vietnamese Culture and Science Association, came all the way from Houston with his family to talk about his book of short essays, journal entries and editorials “Chuyen Xa Gan” (“Stories Near and Far”).
The book, which is in Vietnamese and said to be translated into English soon, is described as “substantive research” on both classic and contemporary Vietnamese literature. Nguyen said it was important to record these stories that are threatened to be lost to time as people struggle to keep an historical and cultural identity alive in a new land.
Nguyen and his family escaped the Communist regime of Vietnam in 1975 and relocated to Houston, Texas.
At the book reception Nguyen and a panel of four people spoke at length about who the Vietnamese Americans are as a people, and what is special about a book that attempts to pull the expatriate identity together and preserve the richness of the strong literary tradition of Vietnam.
Nguyen became a successful scientist and engineer but he said it is also important to concentrate on culture and community. This value prompted him to establish the first Vietnamese Culture and Science Association which now has chapters in several Vietnamese American communities and even Toronto.
Following the library event, Nguyen was invited to a Bloomington reception to celebrate the first anniversary of Minnesota’s chapter of Vietnamese Culture and Science Association.
The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Augsburg Park Library and the Vietnamese Culture and Science Association – Minnesota. For more information call 952-847-5900 or visit www.hclib.org.