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avatar for Andrew Lam

Andrew Lam

New America Media
Editor
San Francisco
Bio:Andrew is a writer and an editor with the Pacific News Service, a short story writer, and, for 8 years, a commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” He co-founded New America Media, an association of over 2000 ethnic media organizations in America.

His essays have appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country, including the New York Times, The LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Baltimore Sun, The Atlanta Journal, and the Chicago Tribune. He has also written essays for magazines like Mother Jones, The Nation, San Francisco Focus, Proult Journal, In Context, Utne Magazine, California Magazine and many others.

His short stories are also anthologized widely and taught in many Universities and colleges. His short stories appeared in many literary journals, including Manoa Journal, Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod International, Michigan Quarterly West, Zyzzyva, Transfer Magazine, Tikkun, Alsop Review, Terrain, and others.


Lam’s awards include the Society of Professional Journalist “Outstanding Young Journalist Award” (1993) and “Best Commentator” in 2004, The Media Alliance Meritorious awards (1994), The World Affairs Council's Excellence in International Journalism Award (1992), the Rockefeller Fellowship in UCLA (1992), and the Asian American Journalist Association National Award (1993; 1995).

He was honored and profiled on KQED television in May 1996 during Asian American heritage month. He was given the Medal of Honor at UC Irvine in 2013 for Contributions to the Humanities and where he gave the commencement address. Lam was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University during the academic year 2001-02, studying journalism. He lectured widely at many universities and institutions, including Harvard, Yale, Brown, UCLA, USF, UC Berkeley, University of Hawaii, William and Mary, Hong Kong, and Loyola university, and so on. Lam, who was born in Vietnam and came to the US in 1975 when he was 11 years old, has a Master in Fine Arts from San Francisco State University in creative writing, and a BA degree in biochemistry from UC Berkeley.

A member of Academy of Arts and Science, Lam was featured in the documentary “My Journey Home,” which aired on PBS nationwide on April 7, 2004, where a film crew followed him back to his homeland Vietnam. His book, Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora has recently won the Pen American “Beyond the Margins” Award in 2006, and short-listed for “Asian American Literature Award.”

Lam's first short story collection, “Birds of Paradise Lost” was published March 2013. His book of essays, "East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres" was published in September 2010 and was listed as top 10 Indies of 2010 by Shelf Unbound Magazine. He’s working on a novel.

Red Hen Press

Birds of Paradise Lost The thirteen stories in Birds of Paradise Lost shimmer with humor and pathos as they chronicle the anguish and joy and bravery of America’s newest Americans, the troubled lives of those who fled Vietnam and remade themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area. The past—memories of war and its aftermath, of murder, arrest, re-education camps and new economic zones, of escape and shipwreck and atrocity—is ever present in these wise and compassionate stories. It plays itself out in surprising ways in the lives of people who thought they had moved beyond the nightmares of war and exodus. It comes back on TV in the form of a confession from a cannibal; it enters the Vietnamese restaurant as a Vietnam Vet with a shameful secret; it articulates itself in the peculiar tics of a man with Tourette’s Syndrome who struggles to deal with a profound tragedy. Birds of Paradise Lost is an emotional tour de force, intricately rendering the false starts and revelations in the st