In regular life, Bich Minh Nguyen goes by the name Beth. She is the author of three books, all with Viking Penguin. Stealing Buddha's Dinner, a memoir, received the PEN/Jerard Award from the PEN American Center and was a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year. It has been featured as a common read selection within numerous communities, schools, and universities. Short Girls, a novel, was an American Book Award winner in fiction and a Library Journal best book of the year. Her most recent novel, Pioneer Girl, is about the mysterious ties between a Vietnamese immigrant family and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Nguyen's work has also appeared in publications including The New York Times and the FOUND Magazine anthology. She is at work on a series of essays about high school, music, and the Midwest, called Owner of a Lonely Heart. She has also coedited three anthologies: 30/30: Thirty American Stories from the Last Thirty Years; Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: I & Eye; and The Contemporary American Short Story.
Nguyen received an MFA from the University of Michigan. She currently directs and teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco. She and her family live in the Bay Area.
A note on pronunciation: Bich is pronounced like "Bic"; Nguyen, the Smith of Viet Nam, is pronounced something like Ngoo-ee-ehn (said quickly, as in one syllable), but most people tend to say "Win" or "New-IN" instead.