Maxine Hong Kingston is the daughter of Chinese immigrants. Growing up she was active in antiwar activities in Berkeley, but left the mainland for Hawai‘i in the late 60’s, where she then wrote The Woman Warrior, and China Men, which earned the National Book Award. Her most recent books include a collection of essays, Hawai‘i One Summer, and her latest novel, The Fifth Book of Peace. Kingston was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 1997 by President Clinton. She is currently Senior Lecturer Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley.

Andrew Lam is an editor and co-founder of New America Media, an association of over 2000 ethnic media organizations in America. Born in Vietnam and living in the US since the age of 11, Lam’s essays have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country and his short stories are widely anthologized. He was a regular commentator on National Public Radio’s "All Things Considered" for eight years. Lam’s awards include the Society of Professional Journalist Outstanding Young Journalist Award and The World Affairs Council's Excellence in International Journalism Award. His book, Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora, won the Pen American Beyond the Margins Award in 2006. His new book East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres was published September 2010.

Listen to the conversation