OVERRIDE

We Should Never Meet

Stories

Aimee Phan

Picador

The eight linked stories that comprise Aimee Phan's chilling debut are inspired by "Operation Babylift," the evacuation of thousands of orphans from Vietnam to America weeks before the fall of Saigon. Moving effortlessly between the war-torn homeland and Orange County's "Little Saigon," Phan chronicles the journeys of four such orphans. Passionate and beautifully written, We Should Never Meet is an utterly fresh reconsideration of the Vietnam War for a new generation and heralds the arrival of one of "the very best of the new wave of Asian-American authors" (David Wong Louie).

BOOK EXCERPTS

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We Should Never Meet
MISS LIENLIEN WAS FIGHTING THEM again. Clawing at their arms, kicking her feet, pushing them away.Go get the boy. This one is strong.She rolled her head from one side to the other. Her skin was slick, sweat squeezing from every pore in her body, but there were still so many hands holding her down. Lien tried to focus on the ceiling. She knew it was dark cement, she remembered that from several hours earlier, but all she saw were bright blues and purples, growing lighter and lighter.Push. Push now.She tried to do what they said, she knew it would make the pain stop. But they
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REVIEWS

Praise for We Should Never Meet

"With almost plainsong dialogue and unornamented description that takes you straight to the troubled hearts of these people . . . Phan [builds] an unsentimental, profoundly persuasive portrait of ordinary people making the best of extraordinary, almost inexpressible tragedy."--Elle
 
"Remarkable . . . The stories are indelible yet float past you . . . many complicated issues are brought to life here."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Phan charts [these] journeys with acuity, sensitivity, [and] wisdom."--Los Angeles Times

"Phan accomplishes what only a true artist can: she gives voice to the voiceless and makes them speak for us all. This is a thrillingly important book."--Robert Olen Butler
 
"There is nothing more satisfying for readers than having an author take them to a place they think they know, and then showing them how very little they actually do."--Hartford Courant
"With almost plainsong dialogue and unornamented description that takes you straight to the troubled hearts of these people . . . Phan [builds] an unsentimental, profoundly persuasive portrait of ordinary people making the best of extraordinary, almost inexpressible tragedy."--Elle
 
"Remarkable . . . The stories are indelible yet float past you . . . many complicated issues are brought to life here."--San Francisco Chronicle

"Phan charts [these] journeys with acuity, sensitivity, [and] wisdom."--Los Angeles Times

"Phan accomplishes what only a true artist can: she gives voice to the voiceless and makes them speak for us all. This is a thrillingly important book."--Robert Olen Butler
 
"There is nothing more satisfying for readers than having an author take them to a place they think they know, and then showing them how very little they actually do."--Hartford Courant

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Aimee Phan

  • Aimee Phan was born in 1977 in Orange County, California, and now teaches creative writing at Washington State University, where she is at work on a novel.
  • Aimee Phan Julie Thi Underhill
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We Should Never Meet

Stories

Aimee Phan

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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