Lan Cao (born 1961) is the author of the 1997 novel Monkey Bridge and is a professor of law at the Chapman University School of Law, specializing in international business and trade, international law, and development.
Cao was born in Vietnam and experienced the Vietnam War as a civilian. She moved to the United States when she was 13. Cao received her B.A. in political science from Mount Holyoke College in 1983 and her J.D. from the Yale Law School.
Monkey Bridge is the semi-autobiographical story of a mother and daughter who leave Vietnam to come to the United States. It is considered to be "the first novel by a Vietnamese American about the war experience and its aftermath".