Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Vu Tran  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult; Adult;

Born: in Saigon, Vietnam

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Illinois Connection

Tran is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts in English and Creative Writing at the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Vu Tran was born in Vietnam and raised in Oklahoma. He received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and his PhD from the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Chicago. His short stories have appeared in the ''O. Henry Prize Stories'', ''A Best of Fence'', ''The Southern Review'', ''Harvard Review'', and other publications. He has received honors from ''Glimmer Train Stories'' and the ''Michigan Quarterly Review''.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Dragonfish: A Novel
ISBN: 0393352870

W. W. Norton & Company. 2016

“Richly satisfying work. . . . [Has] a place on the top shelf of literary thrillers.” ―Gerald Bartell, San Francisco Chronicle

Robert, an Oakland cop, still can't let go of Suzy, the enigmatic Vietnamese wife who left him two years ago. Now she's disappeared from her new husband, Sonny, a violent Vietnamese smuggler and gambler who's blackmailing Robert into finding her for him. As he pursues her through the sleek and seamy gambling dens of Las Vegas, shadowed by Sonny's sadistic son, "Junior," and assisted by unexpected and reluctant allies, Robert learns more about his ex-wife than he ever did during their marriage. He finds himself chasing the ghosts of her past, one that reaches back to a refugee camp in Malaysia after the fall of Saigon, as his investigation soon uncovers the existence of an elusive packet of her secret letters to someone she left behind long ago. Although Robert starts illuminating the dark corners of Suzy’s life, the legacy of her sins threatens to immolate them all.

Vu Tran has written a thrilling and cinematic work of sophisticated suspense and haunting lyricism, set in motion by characters who can neither trust each other nor trust themselves. This remarkable debut is a noir page-turner resonant with the lasting reverberations of lives lost and lives remade a generation ago.



Notable Book, New York Times, 2015

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly'''Other Awards:'''

Whiting Writers Award, 2009

Finalist, Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, 2011

Availability for Public Speaking

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