My name is Thang Dac Luong and I’m a writer. Well, at least by night…
I have a Vietnamese background and consider myself to be a proud Australian.
My first name “Thang” means victory, and “Dac” means to be proud.
My late Dad named me “Thang Dac” because of the Vietnam War. It was a controversial war and still haunts me. Dad was a rebel and didn’t get on well with all the different authorities during Vietnam’s long war for independence against the French and the Americans.
Dad also was a persecuted journalist during the war (1945-1975). He died, at age 91, on 2 February 2006. Since that time, I have reflected upon the impact of war on my family. I am currently working on a novel inspired by him.
Dad was a patriot and proud that a small nation like Vietnam could overcome France during the war against the French (1946 – 1954).
I was on born on 21 March 1971, the Year of the Pig, during the Vietnam War. The Year of the Pig is considered to be a lucky year in Vietnamese culture. I consider myself very lucky because I came to Australia as a refugee with my family on 20 June 1975, shortly after the war ended on 30 April 1975.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (with a journalism major) and a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Technology, Sydney. I also hold a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales and I’m a solicitor of the NSW Supreme Court.
I am married and a father of two kids.
I grew up in, and loved, the Inner West of Sydney in the 1980s (a decade that I find hard to relinquish – sad but true). I have previously done freelance journalism and I currently work as a lawyer.
My upcoming book, not my draft war novel, but a short little, dark comedic book on the asylum seeker debate, will be published under my initials “T.D.” and my surname, Luong. It is for convenience sake. As you can appreciate, many people have problems pronouncing my name. Once you get to know me, you won’t have any problems, but I have realised over many years, it takes strangers and friends a while to pronounce my name correctly. Phonetically in English, you can say, “tongue”, but that is for convenience and is an approximation. There are tone marks on all of my names which means, in Vietnamese, you have to pronounce it in a certain way. It makes life fun to say the least. As a result, I have many nicknames.