A Reading and Talk by GB Tran "Drawing the Past to Write the Future"
GB considers himself a storyteller, who drew his family's journey in comics. GB explained that his most famous graphic novel Vietnamerica is about his parents' experience of immigration to the United States. Being born already in the States, GB never saw himself as torn between the two cultures, although his parents made efforts to preserve the cultural and familial legacy at home. The artist admitted that Vietnamerica project was, perhaps, the largest and definitely the most important project in his life, which helped him to both discover the Vietnamese culture and understand his parents better. He likes to repeat Confucius wisdom: "A man without history is a tree without roots".
GB has also answered many questions related to his choice of the comic medium and the way he manipulated the medium to tell his family's story. It was very interesting to see how images manipulate both spacial and temporal aspects in order to converge the two narratives in the novel: one of GB's own and another one of his parents.
Dr. Sonia Weiner has conducted a fascinating interview with GB Tran, whose graphic novel she analyzed in her newly published book "American Migrant Fictions: Space, Narrative, Identity".
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