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Thanhha Lai

October 20, Dudley Square
Thanhha Lai is a National Book Award–winning children’s author. With an MFA from New York University, she began her writing career as a reporter for the Orange County Register before shifting to fiction, publishing short stories in magazines and literary journals. In 2005, she moved to Vietnam to work as a translator for surgeons, which inspired her to establish Viet Kids, a nonprofit which donates bicycles to children in need. She is the New York Times–bestselling author of Inside Out & Back Again, a novel in verse, which won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature and was a Newbery Honor Book; Listen, Slowly, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book about a Californian girl’s summer spent in Vietnam with her grandmother; and Butterfly Yellow, her most recent release, which Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen calls a “deeply moving story about refugees, siblings, and youthful dreams” that “artfully blends comedy and tragedy.” Currently Lai lives in New York, where she teaches writing at Parsons School of Design.