Mai Der Vang (Andre Yang)
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.