Author Archives: Chris Galvin

About Chris Galvin

Chris Galvin is a Canadian writer, editor and photographer dividing her time between Canada and Viet Nam. Her essay Flood Season was a finalist for the 2012 Best of the Net prize, and Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam won third place (shared) and a Readers’ Choice Award in the 2015 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and literary journals, including Descant, Asian Cha, PRISM International, Room, and others. She has written in Vietnamese and English for Vietnam Tourism Review/Kham Pha Du Lich Vietnam Magazine, Travellive, and Du Lich Giai Tri. Chris is currently looking for a home for her recently completed manuscript, Breakfast Under the Bodhi Tree, a book about living, eating, and tour-guiding in Viet Nam.

P is for Preserves and my Favourite Vietnamese Chilli Paste

Viet cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients. At my mother-in-law’s table, greenery abounds, the fish and shrimp come from my sister-in-law’s family pond, and Mother buys fresh meat daily at the Đông Ba Market. Canned, bottled, and dry ingredients … Continue reading

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Writing Day

Turbulent. Overwhelming. That’s what this year has been, on the grand scale and in my own day-to-day life. With little time to write in 2017, I chose to concentrate on  query packages for my memoir manuscript. Submissions-wise, I sent out … Continue reading

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Writers Reading Writers

Imagine you’ve recently discovered an internet radio show where the host, a stuffed bear, pairs literary readings with music. (He might also pair readings with the occasional nip of whisky.) Imagine the show is called Mr. Bear’s Violet Hour Saloon, … Continue reading

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X is for Xửng…Mè Xửng

In the Việt kitchen, the letter X is tasty. I considered writing about xào, stir-frying, or xoài, mango, or perhaps xôi, sticky rice. Then my in-laws sent a huge package of goodies from Huế. Among the many local specialties were … Continue reading

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N is for Nghệ / Turmeric

“After women give birth,” my Vietnamese mother-in-law explained, “they get coldness. Turmeric heats the body and protects against colds or flu. Also,” she said, “turmeric makes the skin soft and beautiful again. Any woman who just had a baby should apply a turmeric … Continue reading

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Photo set: Canada, Việt Nam

Between 4:30 and 6:30 a.m., the streets of Huế abound with people walking, jogging and excercising. When in Việt Nam, I’m often outside by 5 for a walk with my mother-in-law. . . When I took this photo of a group … Continue reading

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Runner-up in Briarpatch Magazine’s Writing in the Margins Contest!

I’m pleased to announce that my personal essay Bombshell has been chosen as runner-up for the 2015 creative nonfiction prize in Briarpatch’s fifth annual writing contest. Thank you to Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, who judged the creative nonfiction entries. Bombshell faced … Continue reading

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V is for Vả Figs

We tend to think of Vietnamese cuisine as a single entity, but really it’s made up of many regional dishes and ingredients. The cooking of Huế features a variety of such foods, and a variety of locally grown fig is one … Continue reading

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Sweet and Sour Tamarinds for Tết

Hard work. Peeling sour green tamarinds to make sweet and sour Tết preserves. My sister-in-law and I have already spent a couple of hours on this, and we still have hours to go. When tamarinds are ripe, the shells separate … Continue reading

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T is for Tôm Chua (Sour Shrimp)

The cuisine of Việt Nam’s old imperial city of Huế features a number of local specialties that aren’t so well known in the rest of the country. The lightly fermented shrimp condiment called tôm chua, sour shrimp, is one of … Continue reading

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