October 14, 2004
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.-Performance artist and novelist lê thi diem thúy, with memoirist May-lee Chai, the visiting writer in the Creative Writing Center at Amherst College, will present "Gangsters & Glamour" at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at Amherst Books (8 Main Street, Amherst.). The reading, sponsored by the Amherst College English Department and the Eastman Fund, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

A 1994 graduate of Hampshire College, lê thi diem thúy is the author of The Gangster We Are All Looking For (2003), which The New York Times named a Notable Book and praised as "a tale of persecution, tragedy and gritty determination, told with a poetic sensibility and a sharp eye for the matter of everyday life." Recently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, lê has also worked in residency at the Lannan Foundation, the Headlands Center for the Arts and Hedgebrook. She has performed solo works at the New World Theater at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the International Women's Playwrights' Festival in Galway, Ireland.

Of Glamorous Asians: Short Stories and Essays, May-lee Chai's new collection of stories and essays, Marilyn Krysl has remarked, "We're in the hands of a sophisticate with a piercing eye, a nuanced intelligence and a sprightly sense of irony." Chai's earlier work earned similar praise: her first novel, My Lucky Face, an intimate investigation of China's cultural revolution, was called "beautifully told." Her second book, The Girl from Purple Mountain, a family memoir that Chai co-wrote with her father, was nominated for a National Book Award in 2001. Chai's fiction and essays have been widely published in such places as the San Francisco Chronicle, ZYZZYVA and Missouri Review.