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Khanh Ho
Khanh Ho was for many years an assistant professor of English at Grinnell College, a highly selective liberal arts college in the Midwest. But before his career in academia and for a brief, glorious period of three years, he traveled those parts of the world that could best be enjoyed on a budget and a backpack. Khanh is currently writing a monumental first: the first ever Vietnamese American Mystery Novel with a Vietnamese American Detective written by a Vietnamese American. Follow him on twitter at @LAMYSTERYWRITER. Follow Khanh's mystery novel writing odyssey at

Entries by Khanh Ho

Nightcrawler: Why Jake Gylenhaal Deserves Best Actor

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 5:19 PM

Nightcrawler is not a Mystery but it is a work of LA Noir, so I ran off to watch it in the theaters because I'm writing something LA Noir and, boy, was I not disappointed. It's one of the best movies of the season and most assuredly will garner some...

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Hanukah Swastika Gift Wrap Dilemma: What it Teaches About Race

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 9:44 AM

Recently, a Jewish woman walked into a Southern California Walgreens and spotted on a Hanukah wrapping paper a startling discovery: a pattern with bunches of interlocking swastikas in tight formation. For Cheryl Shapiro, it was an affront. It outraged her so much that she immediately demanded that the product be...

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P.D. James: Master of the Modern Detective Novel

(4) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 3:45 PM

P.D. James, the master of detective fiction, died recently, leaving in her wake pyrotechnic displays of masterful writing. In memory of this great technician, I've been reading one of her novels--Devices and Desires--which features her accomplished detective, Commander Adam Dalgliesh.

James wanted to be a writer from a young age,...

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Serial: Why Is It So Popular?

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2014 | 1:35 PM

Serial is the hottest new podcast that's working everybody up into a lather. It's the number one podcast not only in the United States, but also Australia, and the United Kingdom. If you haven't started listening to it, start listening to it.

Serial follows the conventions of sequential storytelling --...

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College Admissions: Top 5 Mistakes Parents Make

(2) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 1:02 PM

The Fall College Application Season has arrived. And kids are showing up on college campuses nationwide, dressed in their finest duds, scouting out the hallowed halls of the ivory tower.

Admissions officers hand out brochures with a smile permanently plastered to their faces: they are girding their loins for...

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Common Core Standards: What to Make of This Problem

(1) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 5:44 PM

The new school year has begun, and one of the issues on the lips of every educator and every parent is this: Common Core Standards. For those who don't yet live in the nightmare that is public education, Common Core Standards represent an overhaul in the educational system--a set of...

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Check Your Privilege: Princeton, Conservatism and Political Correctness

(2) Comments | Posted May 9, 2014 | 12:34 PM

Recently, a Princeton Freshman wrote in a conservative newspaper that he was sick of "checking his privilege." What is privilege? Why do we have to check it? Privilege is the advantage we get from our circumstances that end up giving us a leg-up in the mosh pit that is this...

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Cinco de Mayo: A Different Take

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 9:52 PM

Cinco de Mayo came and went, and this time, it developed its latest wrinkle: the wide-spread charge that it is politically incorrect, corrupt and unwholesome. The charge follows a pattern that we are long familiar with -- that the American holiday has little to do with the event it commemorates,...

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What Amy Chua Didn't Tell You: Why 'The Triple Package' Is Dead Wrong

(6) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 6:01 PM

Amy Chua has come out with another book whose basic message is the same: you suck and I am better. Critics have been quick to pummel her for it.

In a nutshell, The Triple Package discusses the three cultural traits of eight successful immigrant groups in the United States....

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Renisha McBride: Knocking While Black

(21) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 12:23 PM

For a brief period, I lived in a small college town on a windswept prairie that was considered by many--many white people-- to be the safest place on earth. It was picturesque, with rows of Victorian houses and fine oak trees. Its bank was turned into an old-timey museum. And...

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My First Halloween: An Immigrant Story

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 3:52 PM

Us kids had heard about All Hallow's Eve -- that it was a dress-up holiday and we could get free candy if we went door to door. Kids at school had been wound up tight, yapping away about it. All you needed was some imagination and a pillow case to...

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Silence of Lambs: Adjuncts in Academia

(10) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 12:56 PM

This week, I learned some distressing news -- news that has become all too common in these beleaguered economic times. One of my friends had not been paid for the last two months of labor.

There's more: He didn't know exactly when he would be paid. And in fact...

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Who Was Mary Margaret Vojtko? Why Should We Care?

(4) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 7:45 PM

Mary Margaret Vojtko was an 83 year old professor at Duquesne University who, after 25 years of service, succumbed to cancer. Delirious, virtually homeless, the French professor passed away on the front lawn of a house that she was too destitute to keep up and was delivered unto God in...

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College Admissions: The One Statistic That Counts

(29) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 5:53 PM

Most middle-class parents know every vital statistic: the percentage of students who go on to professional school, the median income of the graduating senior, the attrition rate of students who can't hack it and drop out. Minority parents with lower incomes, on the other hand, have few statistics at their...

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Bradley Manning: Cross Dressing Shenanigans

(1) Comments | Posted August 17, 2013 | 5:46 PM

Recently, new photographs were released -- incriminating ones -- of an American public figure who has entered into the American imagination as a figure of supreme infamy. No, it was not another shot of Anthony Weiner's junk. No, Britney Spears has not gone off her meds and experienced yet another...

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How Do You Balance Work and Writing?

(8) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 6:33 PM

It's been a while since I last posted. Why? Because I started teaching one of my favorite classes at my absolute favorite school: UCLA. The class -- Freshman Summer Program -- is a bridge program that targets students from underrepresented groups. These young minds will matriculate Fall term but cut...

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Stop Racial Profiling: In Support of the Students and Professors at Providence College

(2) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 3:49 PM

Recently, a group of students and faculty called upon Providence College to stop racial profiling. Students have been followed by the police, verbally abused and detained. Do you think this can't happen in academia? It does.

It was in academia that I first learned about the concept of "driving...

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Vietnamese Americans: Looking Backward

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2013 | 9:46 AM

I often forget this day: the day my family became stateless people and began the process of drifting that would eventually have us wash up on the shores of these United States. Today marks the anniversary of the evacuation of Vietnamese from what was once their home country: a moment...

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Presumed Incompetent: A Personal Story

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 7:53 PM

My first tenure track gig was in one of those ideal little burgs in the Midwest where suburban kids go to study in splendid isolation. It is a postage stamp of nine thousand souls, voted as one of the "prettiest painted towns," where the big event -- the year I...

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LOL: Grading College Essays With a Computer Program?

(2) Comments | Posted April 6, 2013 | 2:45 PM

This morning, I read an article in the New York Times about a revolutionary new software program that will soon become available to the public. As soon as released, it will be widely adopted to teach MOOCS -- those large online classes that people can take from world-famous...

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