Saigon fell to the Viet Cong on April 30, 1975. Kien Nguyen watched the last U.S. Army helicopter leave without him, without his brother, without his mother, without his grandparents. Kien was more at risk than most because of his odd blond hair and his light eyesbecause he as Amerasian. He was the most unwanted.
Told with stark and poetic brilliance, this is a story of survival and ultimately a story of hope. It is a moving and personal record of a family's journey to America and of a tumultuous and important piece of history.
Told with the author's unique perspectiveKien Nguyen was born in Nhatrang, South Vietnam, in 1967, to a Vietnamese mother and an American G.I. fatherthis memoir continues the legacy of unforgettable Vietnam stories such as Full Metal Jacket and Platoon.
Nhatrang, May 12, 1972, 7 P.M.
I remember that night quite well. It is my first memory, and the happiest one from my childhood.
The familiar smell of pig roasting on a spit wafted from the kitchen. My mother made cheery noises as she ran from one hallway to the next, giving orders to the help with a hint of pompous confidence. The moist summer air evaporated into a transparent mist all around me due to the kind of heat found only in Nhatrang and only in May. And what I remember most of all is the sense of festivity all around me as the last rays of sunlight disappeared into the ocean, just a few hundred feet away from my window. It was my fifth birthday.
My childhood home, in order to accommodate my mother's passion for living near beautiful beaches, was situated by the water, with the waves murmuring at the foot of the house. The mansion was comprised of three stories and over twenty-four rooms, including at least eight bedrooms. All were furnished with ...
A brilliant and very moving book, told with no self pity which left this reader wanting more. The author will be publishing his first novel, The Tapestries in October 2002 but sadly, at the time of writing, there are no plans for a second installment of memoirs.
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