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Andrew Lam
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Entries by Andrew Lam

On Having an Accent in America

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 4:29 PM

Below is an excerpt from "East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres" published in 2010. I have an accent still, somewhere between San Francisco and Saigon. You can hear it here in an NPR's commentary.

Uncle Tho, my father's older brother, was a studious man. He...

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Why Candidates Shouldn't Ignore Asian-American Voters

(9) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 12:13 PM

Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) are a fast-growing population, and as a voting bloc, their numbers have nearly doubled since 2000, but political candidates continue to ignore them, according to a new study.

In terms of political power, the API electorate nearly doubled to 3.9 million voters between...

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In Celebration of the Karaoke, Vietnamese Style

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 12:15 PM

Below is an excerpt from my book, East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres, published in 2010. Sadness and joy and yearnings and stories of broken hearts all found expression through this interactive entertainment contraption, For many Vietnamese it's a godsend.

SAN FRANCISCO--On the recent occasion...

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Stress, Vietnamese-Style

(9) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 3:21 PM

Below is an excerpt from my book, East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres, published in 2010. Vietnam is on a course for credit upgrade and its economy is growing. For many this leads to new found wealth and status, and, inevitably, a lot of stress.

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For Freelancers, Growing Opportunity and Risk

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 6:36 PM

The recent beheading of freelance journalist James Foley (pictured above) by militants from the Islamic State highlights the growing dangers that freelance reporters covering conflict zones face. NAM Editor Andrew Lam writes the paring back by media of foreign correspondents in these regions has opened up new opportunities -- and...

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African-American Media on the Death of Michael Brown in Ferguson

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 11:41 AM


Police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Missouri, has mobilized African American media across the country. Below is a compilation of editorial excerpts from some of the major black newspapers and news sites since the killing and subsequent protest began.

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In Asia, Cheating to the Test

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 4:12 PM

CNN recently reported that college applications from Chinese foreign students to the US sounded exactly the same.

In fact, one admission officer read a phrase in one of the applications that sent up red flags: "Insert girl's name here." The number of Chinese students in the United...

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Franz Schurmann: A Curious, Restless American Soul

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 5:13 PM

Four years ago today, one of my beloved mentors passed away. His name was Franz Schurmann, a well-known sinologist and author, and he taught at UC Berkeley for many years. He spoke and read 11 languages and also cofounded Pacific News Service/New America Media where I now work...

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Robin Williams -- A Comic Genius Who Named Everything, Except His Own Depression

(2) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 3:43 PM

Robin Williams once joked that death is "nature's way to let you know that your table is ready." It's not funny now that the comedian overrode nature by grabbing the table without waiting for the maître d'. But if his suicide has any silver lining, it's that depression and mental...

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After MH17: I Am Committed to International Travel More Than Before

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 2:22 PM

My mother still remembers me as a happy Vietnamese child whenever I got to fly in an airplane during the Vietnam War. Flying was full of risks and dangers back then, but I was apparently a bouncy and cheerful little boy. Other passengers fretted and prayed yet it would seem...

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The Asian Elephant Vanishes: Once Revered Animal Becomes Consumer Product

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 3:16 PM

In Asia there's an ongoing irony that deepens as the natural world dwindles to the size of a parking lot. Wild animals, once revered and assigned all kinds of spiritual meaning, are increasingly ending up as the main entrée or as decorations for the rich.

The tiger, for instance,...

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Vietnam in a Quandary: China's Aggression, America's Seduction

(6) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 12:53 PM

Thi Quang Lam, a former general in the South Vietnamese army, is the author of The Twenty-five Year Century: A South Vietnamese General Remembers the Indochina War to the Fall of Saigon and most recently, Hell in An Loc: The 1972 Easter Invasion and the Battle...

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Isabelle Thuy Pelaud: How I Found Myself at UC Berkeley

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 11:50 AM

When she was a teenager, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud would ride around the small village of Pierrevert in the hills of southeastern France. But her little moped could only take her so far. "I would ride all day but my world was a very small one, and I was invisible in...

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Iraq Replaces Vietnam as Metaphor for Tragedy

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 7:41 PM

A few years ago in a New York subway train I witnessed a scene that will always serve for me as an important marker of sort. A man in ruffled clothes walked up and down the aisle and panhandled in a loud voice. "Can you help a Vietnam Vet? I've...

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A Hidden Tragedy: Mental Illness and Suicide Among Asian Americans

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 4:23 PM

What do Jiwon Lee, Kevin Lee, and Andrew Sun have in common? Sadly, they are three Asian Americans college students who killed themselves in high-profile cases in April at prestigious universities.

Kevin Lee, (no relation to Jiwon,) a sophomore at Boston University studying biomedical engineering, was found...

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Mother's Memories and Making Spring Rolls

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 9:53 AM

"Why don't you call me anymore?" she asks on the phone, her voice plaintive, barely above a whisper. "No one remembers me, no one cares if I died."

"Mother, I called 3 days ago."

"Liar! That never happened."


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Who Are the Boko Haram, and Why Is Nigeria So Slow to Act?

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 7:13 PM

Professor Michael Watts teaches geography at UC Berkeley and is the author of many books, including "Silent Violence: Food, Famine, and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria" and "Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta." He spoke to me about the recent kidnappings...

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Online Portal Documents Vietnam's Human Rights Abuses

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 1:23 PM

Note: Despite recent economic advances, Vietnam continues to languish when it comes to improving its human rights record, activists say. A new English-language online news portal, Vietnam Right Now, looks to inform readers on the Communist country's human rights situation, including updates on prisoners of conscience and...

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Welcome to America -- Enter at Your Own Risk

(2) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 12:49 PM

On Monday, seven runners from Boston University ran the Boston Marathon in honor of Lu Lingzi, the 23-year-old student who died a year earlier from the terrorist bombings that killed three people and injured 264 others. From all accounts, Lu had loved America. A graduate of Boston University, she was...

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Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary: A Meditation of Life in Exile

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 2:38 PM

Below is an excerpt from my recent essay, "Give Me The Gun," in the current issue of Boom: A Journal of California. It is a mediation of life in exile, trauma, and inherited memories; and it is an effort to understand the reasons behind the violence...

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