Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora

From the Back Cover:
"Along the Perfume River lies an old woman who has never left her village, who has raised children and grandchildren, never having seen the ther side of the river. A nightvlub owner from Vietnam travels the world, hobnobbing with international celebrities. A young man goes to college in America, only to return to Vietnam with made-up stories and forged photographs of himself with President Clinton. And another grows up both an American teenager and a Vietnamese general's son... the author himself.

In this engaging and thoughtful collection of essays, noted journalist Andrew Lam explores his lifelong struggle for identity and challenges definitions--both society's and his own-- of what it means to be an immigrant, a son, and a survivor."

Praise for Andrew Lam:
"Andrew Lam speaks to each of us quite individually and personally, with wit and compassion, about the thigns that connect us all at the deepest level. Perfume Dreams is a fascinating and important book by a truly gifted writer."
                -Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

Editorial Review from The Library Journal:
"In this powerful collection of essays, Lam, a syndicated columnist and National Public Radio commentator, explores his identity as a Viet Kieu (a Vietnamese national living abroad) residing in the United States. On April 28, 1975, 11-year-old Lam and his family fled Saigon aboard a crowded C130 cargo plane just two days before the fall of Saigon to Communist forces (a day Lam would come to know as an "American rebirth"). His father, a respected South Vietnamese general, followed soon after, reuniting with the family in California, where they would begin at the bottom rung as they struggled to fulfill the American Dream. Looking deep within himself and his fellow Viet Kieu, Lam seeks to "marry two otherwise dissimilar and often conflicting narratives." He cites cultural critic Edward Said as he shows that to transcend one's national limits one must not reject attachments to the past but work through them. Lam, who grows to realize that home is "portable if one is in commune with one's soul," embraces the journey of self-discovery and concludes that one's identity is not fixed but "open-ended." What results is a cohesive presentation with broad appeal, allowing non-Viet Kieu to understand Lam's experiences."

Purchasing Information for Perfume Dreams:

Click here to purchase a copy of Perfume Dreams

  • Publisher: Heyday Books
  • Pub. Date: September 2005
  • ISBN-13: 9781597140201
  • 143pp

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