Thursday, April 01, 2010

Hyphen highlights Mai Neng Moua!

Hmong American writer and pioneer Mai Neng Moua was highlighted recently on the Hyphen Magazine website! As one of the founders of the Paj Ntaub Voice Hmong literary journal and the editor of the ground-breaking anthology, Bamboo Among the Oaks, she is one of the key instrumental figures of Hmong American literature, helping to create a viable space for their community to express their perspectives creatively for the first time in almost 4,000 years. As I've often said, if she isn't exactly the mother of Hmong literature, she's at least its big sister.
Although it's been some time since we've last seen an issue of Paj Ntaub Voice, if it's now defunct it still played a historic and lasting role in the Hmong community. Even, arguably, for all of the Southeast Asian American refugee arts. Although I think they've done one too many issues on variations of the gender question, they still took the Hmong narrative and extended it far beyond our traditional expectations. Here's hoping they or someone else resumes the mantle in the near future!

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