Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Vu Tran  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Born: in Saigon, Vietnam

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Illinois Connection

Tran is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts in English and Creative Writing at the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Vu Tran was born in Vietnam and raised in Oklahoma. He received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and his PhD from the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Chicago.His short stories have appeared in the ''O. Henry Prize Stories'', ''A Best of Fence'', ''The Southern Review'', ''Harvard Review'', and other publications. He has received honors from ''Glimmer Train Stories'' and the ''Michigan Quarterly Review''.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Dragonfish: A Novel
ISBN: 0393352870

W. W. Norton & Company. 2016

A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year

"Note-perfect. Heartbreaking. Profound…[A] polished dagger of a novel that will cut out your heart." ―Charles Bock, New York Times best-selling author of Beautiful Children

Robert, an Oakland cop, still can’t let go of Suzy, the mysterious Vietnamese wife who left him. Now she’s disappeared from her new husband, Sonny, a violent smuggler who blackmails Robert into finding her. Searching for Suzy in the sleek and seamy gambling dens of Las Vegas, Robert finds himself also chasing the past that haunts her―one that extends back to Vietnam and a refugee camp in Malaysia, and forward to Suzy’s estranged daughter, a poker shark now taking the future into her own hands.



  • Notable Book, New York Times, 2015

  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

    Other Awards:

  • Whiting Writers Award, 2009

  • Finalist, Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, 2011

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)


    Ellen Levine -


    Yurina Ko -