Mai Elliott, a graduate of Georgetown University, was born and raised in Vietnam. Upon graduating from Georgetown, she returned to Saigon, where she worked for the Rand Corporation interviewing Viet Cong prisoners of war and defectors for a research project to determine the morale and motivation of the guerrillas during the Vietnam War. She met her American husband, David Elliott, now a professor of Political Science, while a student in Washington, D.C., and the two married in Saigon.
Saturday, March 23, 1:30pm
MAI ELLIOTT, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of The Sacred Willow
In the years following her move to the United States with her husband, she made several trips to Vietnam. Her most recent visits included trips as a guest lecturer for an Asia Society tour in February 2000, as a member of a private Vietnamese-American delegation vetted by the White House for President Clinton's visit to Vietnam in November 2000, and as a guest lecturer for Smithsonian study tours in February 2001 and March 2002.
After a long career in corporate banking, she resigned her job to write her family story, The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family, which was published by Oxford University Press in April 1999 (under the name of Duong Van Mai Elliott). The Sacred Willow was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was a finalist for the Asian-American literary award in the year 2000.