Chris Abani & lê thi diem thúy (2009)

This event happened on January 16th 2009 at Folger Theater

Chris Abani and Lê Thị Diễm Thúy talked about exile and loss.

Chris Abani was born in Afikpo, Nigeria. His father was Igbo, while his mother was of English descent. He published his first novel, Masters of the Board, in 1985 at the age of 16. It was a political thriller, the plot of which was an allegory based on a coup that was carried out in Nigeria just before it was written. He was imprisoned for six months on suspicion of an attempt to overthrow the government.He continued to write after his release from jail, but was imprisoned for one year after the publication of his 1987 novel Sirocco. After he was released from jail this time, he composed several anti-government plays that were performed on the street near government offices for two years. He was imprisoned a third time and was placed on death row. Luckily, his friends had bribed government officials for his release in 1991, and immediately Abani moved to the United Kingdom, living there until 1999. He then moved to the United States, where he now lives.

Lê Thị Diễm Thúy (Phan Thiết 12 January 1972; pronounced lay tee yim twee) is a Vietnamese American poet, novelist, and performer.Her debut novel The Gangster We Are All Looking For takes up the loss and dislocation of a young girl and refugee family from Vietnam. Her pen name is lowercase: lê thị diễm thúy.