Andrew X. Pham trained and graduated from UCLA as an aerospace engineer. He worked at United Airlines as an aircraft engineer before switching career to become a writer while pursuing dual graduate degrees, M.B.A and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, specializing in orbital debris. His brother's suicide was the catalyst in his pivotal life changing decision.
He writes and lives on the Thai-Laos border in a traditional wooden farm bungalow he built on the Mekong River. He teaches writing and occassionally lead bicycle tours in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. He has launched a culinary project on Kickstarter.com, titled A Southeast Asian Love Affair: My Cookbook Diary of Travels, Flavors and Memories, a literary work that tells the stories of his life in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. He can be found at andrewxpham.com
He is the author of Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam (1999) and The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars (2009). He is also the translator of Last Night I Dreamed of Peace (2008).
Catfish and Mandala won the 1999 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, QPB Nonfiction Prize, and the Oregon Literature Prize. It was also a Guardian Shortlist Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Barnes & Noble Discovery Book, a Border's Original Voices Selection
The Eaves of Heaven was a National Book Critic Circle Finalist and a Asian Pacific American Librarian Association Honorary Book of the Year. It was also the Honor Book of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association and named as One of the Ten Best Books of the Year by Washington Post Book World, One of the Ten Best Books of the Year by Portland Oregonian, One of the Los Angeles Times' Favorite Books of the Year, and One of the Best Books of the Year by Bookmarks Magazine
Andrew X. Pham also won a Whiting Writer Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Montalvo Fellowship.