A Place to Call Home: Belonging and Displacement

Sat, May 18, 2024
Room 203
Greensboro Cultural Center

Three writers explore belonging, displacement, and the experiences that transform us. In The American Queen, a novel based on the true history of The Kingdom of the Happy Land (1865-1889) VANESSA MILLER shares the story of Luella, queen of the kingdom, and the community built by formerly enslaved people as a refuge. Writer’s Postcards is a collection of essays in which DIPIKA MUKHERJEE explores the world through the lens of geography, comments on culture and imagination, and discovers new notions of home and identity. And in the memoir Owner of a Lonely Heart, BETH NGUYEN writes about leaving Saigon for America as a baby after the Vietnam War and a mother-daughter relationship fractured by separation, war, and resettlement. All three works explore “home” and its sometimes complicated meanings.


VANESSA MILLER is a best-selling, award-winning author. Vanessa’s novels have received rave reviews, with several appearing on Essence Magazine’s Bestseller’s List. Miller’s work has receiving numerous awards, including the 2022 Best Christian Fiction award for her novel, Something Good at the African American Literary Awards Show. She has also received the Best Christian Fiction Mahogany Award and the Red Rose Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction. She has worked with numerous publishers: Urban Christian, Kimani Romance, Abingdon Press and Whitaker House. She is currently working on The American Queen and the forthcoming The Filling Station. Vanessa lives in North Carolina with her husband and family. She graduated from Capital University with a degree in Organizational Communication. LEARN MORE

DR. DIPIKA MUKHERJEE's work is included in The Best Small Fictions 2019 and appears in World Literature Today, Asia Literary Review, Del Sol Review, and Chicago Quarterly Review, Newsweek, Los Angeles Review of Books, Hemispheres, Orion and more, and she has been translated into French, Portuguese, Bengali and Mandarin Chinese. She is the author of the novels Shambala Junction (Aurora Metro, winner of the Virginia Prize for Fiction) and Ode to Broken Things (Repeater Books, longlisted for the Man Asia Literary Prize), and the story collection, Rules of Desire (Fixi). Her latest poetry collection is Dialectof Distant Harbors (CavanKerry Press, winner of Quill and Ink Award). She is currently core faculty at StoryStudio Chicago and teaches at the Graham School at University of Chicago. LEARN MORE

BETH NGUYEN is the author of the recent memoir Owner of a Lonely Heart, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice Pick, as well as the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, and two novels. Her work has appeared in publications including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Time, and Best American Essays. She teaches creative writing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. LEARN MORE


SARAH RHU holds a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of South Carolina, an MA in English from Western Carolina University (WCU), and a graduate certificate in book publishing from the Denver Publishing Institute. Her work appears in The Routledge Handbook of Vegan Studies, the North Carolina Digital Online Collection of Knowledge and Scholarship, and elsewhere. Sarah previously taught first-year writing courses at WCU and North Carolina A&T State University. She now works as a freelance editor and as the manager of Scuppernong Books in Greensboro.