Trung Le Nguyen discusses The Magic Fish, his YA graphic novel that deals with the complexity of family and how stories can bring us together, in conversation with his editor, Whitney Leopard. In this gorgeous debut, fairy tales are the only way one boy can communicate with his Vietnamese immigrant parents. But how will he find the words to tell them that he’s gay? A powerful read about family, identity, and the enduring magic of stories.

As part of the Virginia Festival of the Book’s Shelf Life virtual series, this event is FREE to attend and open to the public. To attend, please register below or simply make plans to watch on Facebook.com/VaBookFest.

This event will offer closed captions and an accompanying live transcript using Zoom’s built-in automatic speech recognition software (ASR). To request live-captioning accommodations, please write vabook@virginia.edu no later than seven days before the event. A video recording from this event will be provided soon after completion and an accurate transcript will be available at a later date, at VaBook.org/watch

“[A] gorgeously drawn… story of a first-generation Vietnamese American who is struggling with coming out to his parents.”—Forbes

“A sparkling debut… about the child of Vietnamese immigrants who teaches through fairy tales—yet wrestles with how to come out to his family.”—The Washington Post

“Infused with emotional depth and integrity, this coming-of-age story broadens the range of Vietnamese American creative voices in books for young people.”—The Horn Book, starred review

“Warm, loving family and friends are a refreshing alternative to immigrant stories that focus on family problems. Beautifully illustrates how sharing old stories can be the best way to learn how to share new ones.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“The magic happens here on every page, the perfection personified by debut author/artist Nguyen’s autobiographical homage to the infinite power of storytelling.”—Booklist, starred review

“Nguyen’s poignant debut captures the perspectives of, and essence of the bond between, a parent and child, proving that language—and love—can transcend words.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“How do you tell stories within stories within stories? Ask Trung Le Nguyen, who seamlessly blends family history, fairy tales, and a 1998 coming-out tale in this remarkable intergenerational graphic novel.”—The Bulletin, starred review

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