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 has been a Bread Loaf Fellow, among other honors, and her work has appeared in anthologies and publications including The New York Times. 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 YearsContemporary Creative Nonfiction: I & Eye; and The Contemporary American Short Story

Nguyen received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan, where she won Hopwood Awards in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. 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 and that has become acceptable.