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Vu Tran biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Vu Tran
Photo by Chris Kirzeder

Vu Tran

Vu Tran Biography

Vu Tran was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1975 and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After his MA from the University of Tulsa, he received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and a Ph.D from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as a Glenn Schaeffer Fellow in Fiction.

Vu, who was the winner of a Whiting Award recognizing "exceptional talent and promise," currently teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago.



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Interview

An interview with Vu Tran author of Dragonfish, a cinematic work of suspense set in motion by characters who can neither trust each other nor trust themselves.

Can you explain the title, Dragonfish?
Dragonfish was my editor's suggestion, and I initially balked at it because I didn't like the word "dragon." It sounded too familiar—too generically Asian, I guess. I was also very close to the original title, This or Any Desert, which I had used for all five years that I worked on the novel. But I've come to like the sound of the title and see some interesting symbolic value in it too. It's a direct reference to the illegal and expensive Asian Arowana fish that Junior points out to Robert early in the novel when they're in his father's underground aquarium lair. Junior explains that these fish are often called Dragonfish and are supposed "to bring good luck, keep evil away, and bring the family together," which is everything they end up not doing in the novel. I kinda like that irony. The title also refers to actual Dragonfish, these very monstrous-looking fish that live in extremely deep parts of the sea, at depths of up to 5,000 feet. They're quite small but are apparently ferocious predators that can stay hidden from their prey. Little more is known about them because of their dark and remote habitat. I think, to some degree, all these ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Vu Tran at BookBrowse
Dragonfish jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Vu Tran but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Elsa Hart

    Elsa Hart

    Elsa Hart was born in Rome, Italy, but her earliest memories are of Moscow, where her family lived until 1991. Since then she has lived in the Czech Republic, the U.S.A., and China. She earned a B.A. from Swarthmore College ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Dragonfish

    Try:
    Jade Dragon Mountain
    by Elsa Hart

  • Violet Kupersmith

    Violet Kupersmith

    Violet Kupersmith was born in central Pennsylvania in 1989 and later moved with her family to the Philadelphia suburbs. Her father is a white American and her mother is from Da Nang, Vietnam.

    Her mother's family fled the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Dragonfish

    Try:
    The Frangipani Hotel
    by Violet Kupersmith

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