lately all i write about is of vietnam. it's been like this for the past few months, ever since lhiftya showed me "do not say we have nothing." the book has since inspired me to learn more about the role of music and communism in my own country.
it's really funny to me how in south vietnam, our best musicians were folk singers. we're not as full of pomp and circumstance as the chinese, huh? i don't think i can think of any violinists or classical musicians in vietnam except for maybe the communist party's orchestra, and maybe the players from hanoi music conservatory, haha.
but after reading that book i read so much more vietnamese literature (instead of chinese lmao), seemingly out of the blue. my favorites so far are aimee pham's "we may never meet" and le thi diem thuy's "the gangster we're all waiting for". viet thanh nguyen's "the refugees" is so good too. and nha ca's "mourning headband for hue", which i think everyone interested in the tet offensive has to read. i burned through three books from duong thu huong too but she is so bleak and violent in her books, they're very painful to read, it's weird but she reminds me of yukio mishima.. also ocean vuong's writing of course, but i read him last year lol!
now i feel like a hack because all the new characters i write are vietnamese. i made two characters named theo and hoa, who are refugees staying in a hk refugee camp in 1984 and i love them so much. theo's story and appearance (esp the long hair) are all based off my dad but his personality is completely different, he is just a really chipper sweet flirty guy. and hoa is younger than him but she's like his little sister figure, but she has her own arc too. of course i have mai-linh (i'm so mad that mai-linh is the name of a taxi service in vietnam lmao!!!!!! one of our family friends is named mai linh and i loved the sound of the name so much but wow come on god) and duyen/tsun-hin who i always write too.
i wonder if it's through writing that i am able to figure out what sort of person i am. maybe that is why i do it so often now? no i know a part of it is because i wanna write more things lhiftya wants to read. that's a big part actually. but i wonder if one day, maybe ten or fifteen yeras from now, i can look at the things i've written and have a snapshot of who i was back when i wrote them, that i can have answers to the questions that i have today.