Catfish and Mandala

A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam

Andrew X. Pham

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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A Vietnamese Bicycle Days by a stunning new voice in American letters.

Andrew X. Pham dreamed of becoming a writer. Born in Vietnam and raised in California, he held technical jobs at United Airlines-and always carried a letter of resignation in his briefcase. His father had been a POW of the Vietcong; his family came to America as "boat people." His sister committed suicide, prompting Andrew to quit his job. He sold all of his possessions and embarked on a year-long bicycle journey that took him through the Mexican desert, where he was treated as a bueno hermano, a "good brother"; around a thousand-mile loop from Narita to Kyoto in Japan; and, after five months and 2,357 miles, to Saigon, where he finds "nothing familiar in the bombed-out darkness." In Mexico he's treated kindly as a Vietnamito, though he shouts, "I'm American, Vietnamese American!" In Vietnam, he's taken for Japanese or Korean by his countrymen, except, of course, by his relatives, who doubt that as a Vietnamese he has the stamina to complete his journey ("Only Westerners can do it"); and in the United States he's considered anything but American. A vibrant, picaresque memoir written with narrative flair and a wonderful, eye-opening sense of adventure, Catfish and Mandala is an unforgettable search for cultural identity.

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About the Author

Andrew X. Pham

Andrew X. Pham was born in Vietnam in 1967 and moved to California with his family after the war. He lives in San Jose, California. This is his first book.

Andrew X. Pham

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Available Formats and Book Details

Catfish and Mandala
A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam
Andrew X. Pham

Award

Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize - Winner, Guardian First Book Award - Nominee, Oregon Book Award - Finalist

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
April 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429979924
ISBN10: 1429979925
336 pages
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
September 2000
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312267179
ISBN10: 0312267177
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 352 pages
$17.00
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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