Red Hen Press signs debut novel by Vietnamese-American author Thuy Da Lam

Red Hen Press is thrilled to announce the acceptance of a new novel: Thuy Da Lam’s gripping debut, Fire Summer, a book reminiscent of works by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Haruki Murakami, and George Saunders.

In the summer of 1991, twenty-three-year-old Maia Trieu eagerly accepts a research grant to study folklore in Vietnam, the country she once called home. When the grant sponsor presents a burdensome stipulation—that she transport plans to overthrow the government—Maia calls into question her patriotism, and must consult a colorful cast of characters before making her final decision. Maia and her entourage—a watchful government agent, an Amerasian singer, an American traveler, and a stray cat—struggle with the compromises that come with restoring the past and staying true to one’s beliefs. The stories of these four unlikely friends intertwine with those of dead Vietnamese to create a magical, fantasy-meets-philosophy novel about transformation and self-discovery.

Thuy Da Lam was born in Central Vietnam and raised in the United States. She holds a B.A. from Hamilton College where she helped translate Vietnamese sources for Thomas A. Bass’s Vietnamerica: The War Comes Home. Thuy also holds a Ph.D. from UH Manoa. Thuy has won the George A. Watrous Literary Prize for Fiction, the Myrtle Clark Writing Award and the John Young Scholarship in the Arts. Part of Fire Summer appeared in Lost Lake Folk Opera: Black April Issue, in commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the Vietnam War. Thuy currently resides in Hawaii.

Red Hen Press, founded in 1994 by Kate Gale and Mark E. Cull, publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction of literary excellence. As one of few literary presses in the Los Angeles area, part of Red Hen’s mission is to promote literacy in schools, support diversity, and help educate at-risk youths in the community.

Thuy Da Lam is represented by Jennifer Lyons. The Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC, represents over eighty authors whose books have been placed with notable publishers such as HarperCollins, Alfred A. Knopf, Simon & Schuster, and now Red Hen Press, and have won the Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize, and the National Book Award.