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Nam Le, 2010

Rozalind Drummond

type C photograph (sheet: 66.1 cm x 54.6 cm, image: 61.1 cm x 49.6 cm, frame: depth 4.2 cm)

Nam Le (b. 1978), writer, came to Australia as a baby with his Vietnamese refugee parents. He attended Melbourne Grammar School and graduated in Arts/Law from the University of Melbourne, notably writing his honours thesis, on WH Auden, in rhyming couplets. He worked briefly as a lawyer before moving to the USA to complete a creative writing degree at the renowned Iowa Writers' Workshop. His only book to date, the collection of short stories The Boat (2008), attracted extraordinarily favourable reviews around the world. For it he won the Dylan Thomas Prize, the world's most lucrative literary award for a writer from any country under the age of thirty. The book also won the NSW and Queensland Premiers' Awards and the Prime Minister's Prize, amongst many other honours, in 2008-2009. It was included on many local and venerable international reviewers' 'best books' lists for 2008 and 2009, has been translated into many languages, and has been credited with reviving publishers' faith in the short story. A contributor to and former fiction editor of the Harvard Review, Le held a writing fellowship at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England in 2009. Enthusiasts yearn for a second Nam Le book but Stephen Romei in the Australian wrote in 2014 that ‘if all Le ever publishes is The Boat he’ll still be a star.’

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2010

Accession number: 2010.6

Currently on display: Gallery Seven (Ian Potter Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Rozalind Drummond (age 54 in 2010)

Nam Le (age 32 in 2010)

Subject professions


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