We’re excited to announce Viet Dinh as the winner of the 2016 Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction for his short story “Lucky Dragon” which appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of Ploughshares. The $1,000 award, given by acclaimed writer and member of the Ploughshares advisory board Alice Hoffman, honors the best piece of fiction published in the journal during the previous year. “The beauty and passion of [Dinh’s] language is exceptional and the story and characters are unforgettable,” Hoffman said of the winning story. “He creates a world that is brutal and terrifying and marvelous all at once.”
Viet Dinh was born in Vietnam and grew up in Colorado. He received his degrees from the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Houston and currently teaches at the University of Delaware. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Fellowship, he is the author of After Disasters (Little A Books, 2016) and his short stories have appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, Zoetrope: All-Story, Chicago Review, Fence, Threepenny Review, Five Points, and other journals. He rarely gets seasick.
On the inspiration for the winning story, Dinh said: “‘Lucky Dragon’ is based on a true event—there actually was a fishing vessel, Lucky Dragon No. 5, that got caught in the fallout of the Bikini Atoll nuclear test. I wanted to blend the story of that boat’s crew with another love of mine: Japanese kaiju movies. Indeed, the Lucky Dragon No. 5 incident was later dramatized at the start of the classic film, Godzilla. “
A full interview with Dinh was published in our Spring 2017 issue.