Author(s): Bich Minh Nguyen
Linny and Van Luong are two second generation Vietnamese immigrant sisters from the American Midwest. Linny, the youngest, is pretty and popular but trapped in a cycle of dead-end jobs and hopeless affairs. Van, plain and socially awkward, is an over-achieving immigration lawyer with a seemingly picture-perfect marriage. The sisters have been locked in a relationship of mutual disdain for as long as they can remember. When their eccentric elderly father, inventor of the 'Luong Arm' (a gadget to help short people reach objects in high places), finally decides to take the oath for American citizenship in order to compete in an American Idol style reality show for inventors, the sisters must return to their childhood home to plan a party to celebrate the decision that took thirty years to make. As they navigate their secrets, silences and all that has seemed out of reach to them for so long, Van and Linny realize that they are not so different from each other after all.
Bich Minh Nguyen is the author of the memoir Stealing Buddha's Dinner. She teaches at Purdue University and lives in Chicago and West Lafayette.