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Monique Truong was born in Saigon in 1968 and moved to the United States at age six. She graduated from Yale University and the Columbia University School of Law, going on to specialize in intellectual property. Truong coedited the anthology Watermark: Vietnamese American Poetry and Prose, and her essay "Welcome to America" was featured on National Public Radio. Granting her an award of excellence, the Vietnamese American studies center at San Francisco State University called her "a pioneer in the field, as an academic, and advocate, and an artist." She was awarded a prestigious Lannan Foundation Writing Residency in 2001. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York.