Andrew X. Pham

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Andrew X. Pham

Goodreads Author

in Saigon, Viet Nam

Member Since
November 2011


writer, artist, athlete, lover of food, watcher of sunsets, engineer, distracted cyclist, ocean swimmer, teacher, student, ultralight pilot, walker of deserted beaches, planter of rice, occasional madman, admirer of beauty, believer of karma, perennial tourist, reader of souls, grinning fool, dreamer, wild at heart


Sometimes I wonder why I write when it’s such a costly endeavor for someone like myself. I do not breathe words like gifted writers. I grind them out, I chisel them from some dark granite quarry. They don’t come cheaply.

Writing is either an addiction or a curse–probably both. It’s a compulsion of some sort. Take the essay below for instance: it took several working days, nearly a week, to wr...

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Published on October 30, 2013 23:18 • 240 views
Average rating: 3.97 · 5,409 ratings · 628 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
Catfish and Mandala: A Two-...

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The Eaves of Heaven: A Life...

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A Culinary Odyssey: My Cook...

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Last Night I Dreamed of Pea...

3.61 avg rating — 1,207 ratings — published 2005 — 22 editions
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Andrew Pham is now friends with Joe Kurmaskie
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Six Rivers by Jenna Le
Six Rivers
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Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson
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The Lotus and the Storm by Lan Cao
The Lotus and the Storm
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Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee
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A seminal work, required reading for Asian-American males and the women in relationships with them. I really enjoyed this one :)
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The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
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For any writer who has ever struggled for a good sentence.

I have three copies, one in each of the three places I call home. The best perfect little book.

I bought a tattered copy on the streets of Havana over a decade ago. I read it for the third ti
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No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
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“When it's all over, you'll realize that the answer is already within you.”
Andrew X. Pham, Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam

“Nobody gives way to anybody. Everyone just angles, points, dives directly toward his destination, pretending it is an all-or-nothing gamble. People glare at one another and fight for maneuvering space. All parties are equally determined to get the right-of-way--insist on it. They swerve away at the last possible moment, giving scant inches to spare. The victor goes forwards, no time for a victory grin, already engaging in another contest of will. Saigon traffic is Vietnamese life, a continuous charade of posturing, bluffing, fast moves, tenacity and surrenders.”
Andrew X. Pham, Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam

“The perfection of intention. In the end, it is all that matters.”
Andrew X. Pham, Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam

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message 3: by Hue (last edited Jan 16, 2015 12:36PM)


Andrew! Làm thế nào bạn, bạn của tôi? Anh sống ở đâu bây giờ? Nó lạnh ở đây ở Bắc Cực. Thông thường, tôi nấu ăn bây giờ. Tôi sẽ sử dụng một số công thức từ sách dạy nấu ăn của bạn. Có một nhà hàng Việt tốt trong thị trấn thuộc sở hữu của một gia đình người Hmong. Tôi đang viết hai cuốn hồi ký. Đầu tiên là về học kỳ của tôi (mùa thu 1991) tại London cho năm thứ ba đại học, và chuyến đi của tôi vào tháng Giêng năm 1992 tại châu Âu: Stockholm, Vienna và sáu thành phố ở Tây Ban Nha. Tôi hy vọng sẽ viết Đó là trước khi kết thúc năm. Sau khi cuốn sách đó, tôi sẽ bắt đầu viết cuốn tiểu thuyết vĩ đại của Mỹ trên 18 năm đầu tiên của tôi về cuộc sống của tôi ở Việt Nam (Chicago, Sóc Trăng, Rạch) và trại tị nạn Việt Bidong Pulao (1971 -1979) và thời thơ ấu của tôi ở Long Beach, California (1979-1989). Kết thúc vào Golden State tôi để lại cho đại học. Tôi không thể viết về trường đại học. Không có thời gian để viết 10 tập bách khoa toàn thư. Đây Great American Novel sẽ mất nhiều thời gian hơn một năm để viết. Không vội vàng. Tôi tin tưởng vào chất lượng, không phải số lượng. Chúc mừng năm mới và chúc bạn sức khỏe, hạnh phúc và may mắn!

message 2: by Hue

Hue Andrew! ¿Cómo estás, mi amigo? ¿Dónde estás viviendo ahora? Hace frío aquí en el Polo Norte. Cocino a menudo ahora. Voy a utilizar varias recetas de tu odisea culinaria. Paul cocido plato de bagre vietnamita para mí. ¿Puedes creer que mi marido americano cocinado comida vietnamita para mí? Hay un buen restaurante vietnamita en la ciudad que es propiedad de una familia de etnia hmong. Estoy escribiendo dos libros de memorias. La primera es acerca de mi semestre (otoño de 1991) en Londres durante mi tercer año en la universidad, y mi viaje en enero de 1992 en Europa: Estocolmo, Viena y seis ciudades de España. Espero escribir que uno antes de fin de año. Después de ese libro, voy a empezar a escribir mi gran novela americana sobre los primeros 18 años de mi vida en Vietnam (Cholon y Soc Trang y Rach Gia) y Pulao Bidong campo de refugiados vietnamitas (1971-1979) y de mi infancia en Long Beach , California (1979-1989). Terminar cuando salgo de la Golden State para la universidad. No puedo escribir acerca de la universidad. No hay tiempo para escribir 10 volúmenes enciclopédicos. La gran novela americana es sobre la inmigración de mi familia a los Estados Unidos, en el contexto de la comunidad vietnamita en mi barrio en Long Beach y Little Saigon en el Condado de Orange. Que uno va a tomar varios años para escribir. No hay prisa. Yo creo en la calidad, no la cantidad. Feliz año nuevo y deseando tu salud, felicidad y buena suerte! Abrazos!

message 1: by Hue

Hue Hi, Andrew,
Are you still doing Spoonwiz? I love your colorful pics. The last entry was January 2014. Also looked at your personal website. You wrote a couple paragraphs about how lucrative it was to be a published writer. Not. I've written reams and reams for free just to entertain people. We don't have to get paid for everything we do. I do lots of things for free, but I enjoy them, and that's what matters. Writing is one of the worst ways to try to become filthy rich. If you want to become filthy rich, I suggest investing in the stock market, especially volatile stocks. But you can also lose a lot of money. In order to make it big in the stock market, you need to be stock savvy like me and know which stocks will do well and which will not. I do a better job of picking good stocks than managing directors at JP Morgan. My secret? Throw darts. Hope you are enjoying your summer. Hugs!

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