In regular life, Bich Minh Nguyen often goes by the name Beth. Her novel Short Girls (Viking Penguin, 2009) was an American Book Award winner in fiction and and a Library Journal best book of the year. Her memoir-in-essays, Stealing Buddha's Dinner (Viking Penguin, 2007) received the PEN/Jerard Award from the PEN American Center and was a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year and a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book. Stealing Buddha's Dinner has been featured as a common read selection within numerous communities and universities, including the all-state Great Michigan Read. Nguyen's work has also appeared in publications including The New York Times and Dream Me Home Safely: Writers on Growing up in America. Her next novel, Pioneer Girl, will be published by Viking in 2014.
Nguyen received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and has taught fiction and creative nonfiction in the MFA Program at Purdue University and the MFA Program at the University of San Francisco. She has also coedited three anthologies: 30/30: Thirty American Stories from the Last Thirty Years (Penguin Academic); Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: I & Eye (Longman); and The Contemporary American Short Story (Longman). She and her family recently moved to the Bay Area. She is at work on her next nonfiction book.
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.