Vaan Nguyen’s Poetry Collection: “The Truffle Eye”

Photo: Vaan Nguyen's FB page

In her introduction to Vaan Nguyen’s collection, Adriana X. Jacobs writes:

Nguyen’s poetry may circulate in the Anglophone literary market as part of an increasingly visible Vietnamese literary diaspora… And yet, introducing Nguyen’s poetry to the Anglophone reader needs to account for the particularities of the Vietnamese experience in Israel without letting it entirely overshadow her work.

Between 1977 and 1979, approximately 360 Vietnamese refugees entered Israel, and of that number, about half left for the United States or Europe. Those who stayed were able to apply for Israeli citizenship, take on jobs, start families, and continue with their lives. 

Nguyen’s parents were among these refugees. She was born in Ashkelon, Israel in 1982, one of five daughters. The family moved around and eventually settled in Jaffa Dalet, a working-class—and largely immigrant and Arab—neighborhood that is part of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality, “not the pastoral tourist part, but the section that is far from the sea,” Nguyen explains.


The Truffle Eye, Vaan Nguyen. Translated by Adriana X. Jacobs. Zephyr Press; Nov. 2020
The book’s publication date has been delayed

Previous Episode on Vaan Nguyen’s Work

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