Get to know Thanhha…

Thanhha Lai was born in Saigon, Vietnam, immigrated to Montgomery, Alabama after the war in 1975, and currently lives north of New York City. She wrote Inside Out & Back Again, published in 2011 and Listen, Slowly, published February 17, 2015. She also started a not-for-profit organization called Viet Kids Inc. to buy bicycles for poor students in Vietnam. To donate, please read the Viet Kids Inc. tab. For more info on Thanhha and her books, visit her website.

Quirky Questions

What is the best thing about getting old?

Wrinkles telling stories on my face.

What do you do too much of?

Pluck my hair.

What do you do too little of?


If you could make up a school subject, what would it be?

How to sit still 101.

At the end of your Chinese meal, what would you like your fortune to read?

Every day, you shall have hours to do nothing.

Writing Questions

What words of inspiration were given to you that you’d like to pass along to others?

Flag in hand, you must wave it.

When do you feel the most energized?

In the morning, after a jog.

If you were no longer able to write, how else would you express your creativity?

I would watch ants all day and something will come of it.

Do you feel that you chose your passion, or did it choose you?

It chose me.

Who or what has helped you to persevere and not quit?

Stubborn nature.

How much of your own life is reflected in your work?

Lots, so far.