The Broken Country is a book-length essay on cultural trauma and the inter-generational legacies of war. In 2012, a young Vietnamese man named Kiet Thanh Ly walked into a downtown Salt Lake City megastore, purchased a knife, and began stabbing white male passersby in the parking lot, purportedly in revenge for the war in Vietnam: a war that, due to Ly's age, he never immediately experienced.


The Broken Country explores how Ly's case may be at the heart of a larger discussion of war's trauma, historical memory, cultural assimilation, and identity: issues that refugees and veterans alike must face when repatriating after war. Through investigative reporting, cultural criticism, oral history and personal reflection, The Broken Country considers the sheer number of people psychologically wounded by violence.




Winner of the 2016 AWP Creative Nonfiction Award. 

                                                                                     Selection for the Chautauqua Literary and

                                                                                     Scientific Circle Reading Series


MEDIAPublisher's Weekly, KirkusNew PagesAmerican Book ReviewAPALASalt Lake TribuneCity WeeklyRadio WestProgressive SpiritAccess UtahMoments with MarianneAsian American Writers Workshop TV roundtable  with Yanyi, Soyoung You, and Jennifer Hayashida.