Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.F.A. in Creative Writing



First Advisor

Chris Offutt

Second Advisor

Ben McClelland

Third Advisor

Tom Franklin

Relational Format



After the loss of his father, Eddie Nguyen – an English teacher – travels to Vietnam to fulfill his father’s dying wish, which is to have his remains returned to his village of origin, but the problem is that Eddie can’t seem to locate it. In an attempt to generate funds and solicit more information about the whereabouts of the mysterious village, Eddie tries to find work as an English teacher in Saigon, but he quickly discovers no school will hire him based off his Vietnamese heritage. Frustrated, Eddie goes to a local bar and befriends a bartender named Nykky, who then passes his information to a “friend” named Tony who might be able to help him. Instead of a face-to-face meeting, Tony – a gangster – tests Eddie’s English skills by sending him on an errand with his hired muscle, Big Baby, to collect an outstanding debt from an American expat. After the frightening ordeal, Eddie meets Tony in his club. Tony, impressed with the results, offers him a job – the details he withholds until Eddie agrees to his terms – and the payment being the location of mysterious village and the sum of three million dollars.



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