Lan Cao (Author)
DescriptionFor the first time in fiction, the unmapped territory of the Vietnamese immigrant experience is examined in this tale of a young girl's coming-of-age in the United States in the aftermath of war. Mai Nguyen's journey begins when she leaves Vietnam in February 1975, just before the withdrawal of American troops from Saigon. She enters the world of Falls Church, Virginia, a "Little Saigon" community that encompasses refugees and veterans, reinvented lives and entrepreneurial schemes, secrets and lies about a war-torn and conflicted past, and Mai's dreams for a newly minted American future. But the secrets, and what is both hidden and revealed in diaries found buried in her mother's dresser drawer, pull Mai inexorably back to Vietnam. Within these diaries, Mai retraces not only her own earliest experiences, but also her mother's and grandmother's histories - and the story that began to unfold a generation past in the rice fields of the Mekong Delta. Past and present, east and west, Vietnamese myth and American-style reality intertwine and, ultimately, the legacy of long-simmering hatreds and what occurred late one afternoon in a burial ground near the banks of the Mekong River is revealed.
June 01, 1998
5.09 X 0.51 X 7.78 inches | 0.41 pounds
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About the Author
Lan Cao is a professor of international law at Brooklyn Law School and resides in New York City.