American children's writer
Thanhha Lai (born 1965) is a Vietnam-born American children’s author and former journalist.
- Vietnamese is so lyrical, and 80% percent of it is derived from Chinese, which is a language built from pictures not words. So this format and voice came out of that desire.
- On the writing style used for Inside Out & Back Again in “Spring 2011 Flying Starts: Thanhha Lai” in Publishers Weekly (2011 Jun 20)
- They're told to gather the stories of their parents and grandparents and to honor their cultural history. And yet, as they're born in the United States, they don't identify with Vietnam and feel strongly that these are not their roots, so how can they lose them?
- On the contemporary experiences of the first generation of Vietnamese immigrants in “Spring 2011 Flying Starts: Thanhha Lai” in Publishers Weekly (2011 Jun 20)
- I had no idea how lonely it would be to sit in my cave and type, for years and years. I have developed a totally new personality where I talk to myself and play with my hair for entertainment. The surprise is that after much frustration and exhaustion, I do manage to finish a novel.
- On the challenges of being a writer in “Interview with Thanhhà Lại” in Rich in Color (2019 Sep 12)
- Journalism is just very structured…One day I turned in a story and [an editor] said to me, ‘You can’t compare inanimate objects with animate objects,’ and I realized I had to leave.
- On why she left journalism in “How former Register reporter Thanhha Lai turned childhood rage into a National Book Award” in Orange Coast Magazine (2012 Feb 11)