This memoir reads like a novel and I had a difficult time setting it down. I grew up during the Vietnam war and find the comparisons between it and the wars in the Middle East of interest. Great insight into how they viewed their war.
It always amazes me how quickly people have a crowd mentality in order to save themselves. The way that communities fed on individuals to protect themselves. Also, how some are resilent and what causes one to survive and go forward, where others crumble. I did not view his mother harshly, but hope I never need to learn what I would do to protect my children; which is what she did, while many turned their "half-breeds" out to make the family's life easier.
I read this book for my freshman english class in college and I loved it. This has got to be one of the best books I've ever read and I would reccomend it to everyone. The one suggestion I have when reading this book is to keep a box of Kleenex nearby.
Kien Nguyen grew up an outsider in his native land. His once prosperous family, thrust into poverty at the dawn of a new political regime, lived among neighbors who treated them as an unwelcome remnant of the colonialist past. Kien himself, a child of mixed race (his father was American), was among the most unwanted.
Told with a stark, poetic brilliance, Kien's account of his early years-from the fall of Saigon, when at age eight he watched the last U.S. Army helicopter leave without him and his family, to his eventual escape-is a work of profound emotional resonance, at once harrowing and inspiring. The Unwanted unforgettably records a universal human experience played out in extreme circumstances: the forging of an identity, a life."
This book is at once difficult to read and hard to put down. This is an amzing story of an amerasion boy's childhood from the fall of Saigon until his exit, under a program that allowed the children of US servicemen to leave the country, in 1985. These children not only faced prejudice from the society in Vietnam as a whole but also from within their own families. I feel that this is definately part of our history as Americans and exposes yet another tragedy of war.
I found this book quite fasnating as I was in high school at the heighth of the Viet Nam war and in the Air Force at the end of it. This is a true story.
Kien had Vietnamese mother and American Father. His family was once wealthy but thrust into poverty by the War. He told about how he was an outcast. At 8 he watched the last American helicopters leave. He eventually escaped. He is now a dentist in New York.
crackabook reviewed The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood on
Yet another story of how the American government's departure from Vietnam has caused untold hardship on a family, individual. We are given the insight into the life of Kien Nguyen and his tramatic childhood as he grew up in a country that feels it's blood line should remain pure, any mixed blood at birth is a detestable thing to them, and a mother who was to involved with herself when she had money, however, when money was lost she reverted to the animalistic tendencies she must have had prior to it. I can not believe her circumstances lead her to the behavior she had. Interesting read if you have the patience.
A book that I kept on my shelf because it was that good. Finally realized I probably wouldn't read it again because I have so many other that I want to read s I and wanted to pass on for someone else. Note my 5 star rating!
What a fantastic memoir about a Amerasian and his life!