West Texas Talk:
Mai Der Vang Describes Being A “Literary Orphan”

Ryan Paradiso speaks to Lannan resident Mai Der Vang about her collection of poetry, Afterland. The work explores the Hmong (an ethnic group in Southeast Asia) exodus from Laos after The Secret War.

In this conversation, Paradiso and Vang discuss the writer’s decision to break the rules of grammar, the influence a grassroots writing circle had on Vang’s writing, and what it means to create a body of work from the perspective of a Hmong Person.

“[F]or me, it means so much to be able to have written this book, and  be able to offer my own kind of truth about the experience of the war, and the experience of growing up Hmong, and the experience of not having a written language or a definitive literary history,” Vang says. 

About Diana Nguyen

Diana Nguyen produces the interview program West Texas Talk. She is particularly interested in exploring the intersection of range life, high-brow art, and the vast oil fields of West Texas.

This entry was posted in and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

West Texas Talk is broadcast Thursdays at 6:00 PM and Fridays at 9:00 PM.
View the full archive of past interviews here.