The Big Buddha Bicycle Race at UN Irish Pub

February 7

Terence A. Harkin held a talk about his book ‘The Big Buddha Bicycle Race’ at the UN Irish Pub. The talk was a double celebration!. It was one year ago that Silkworm Books released the Asian edition of The Big Buddha Bicycle Race, which went on to become a Top Ten Vietnam War book at and a nominee for the 2017 Kirkus Prize in literature. And now Swallow Press, the fiction imprint of Ohio University Press, will be releasing the American-UK edition on March 1. The book is set in upcountry Thailand and war-ravaged Laos late in the Vietnam War. On one level it’s a cross-cultural wartime love story. That means exploring Asian-American cultural misunderstanding on the personal level, which can be painful, and on the large scale, where it proved to be catastrophic, especially for the people of Laos, which was devastated by the war and then forgotten. It’s also a surreal remembrance of two groups who have been erased from American history—the active-duty soldiers who risked prison by taking part in the GI anti-war movement and the air commandos who risked death night after night flying over the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In The Big Buddha Bicycle Race, the twain meet. Terry earned a BA in English Lit from Brown University in the late Sixties while drumming with bands that opened for The Yardbirds, the Critters, and Jimi Hendrix. His award-winning play, Resurrection, was produced during his senior year. In the US Air Force, despite writing for GI underground newspapers stateside, he was asked to write the 1971 History of Detachment 3, 601st Photo Flight while stationed at Ubon RTAFB, Thailand. He won a CBS Fellowship for his screenwriting while completing an MFA at the University of Southern California and went on to spend twenty-five years as a Hollywood cameraman. His credits include The Goodbye Girl, The Legend of Billie Jean, Quincy, Designing Women, Seinfeld, and Tracy Ullman. Working on MASH and From Here to Eternity had a powerful effect on the writing of Big Buddha and its sequel, The Bronze Begging Bowl. He is currently living in Chiang Mai and working on Tinseltown Two-step, the final volume of the trilogy. The Silkworm Books online store carries the print edition: Worldwide, The Big Buddha Bicycle Race is available at

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