Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora available in Paperback
In his long-overdue first collection of essays, noted journalist and NPR commentator Andrew Lam explores his lifelong struggle for identity as a Viet Kieu, or a Vietnamese national living abroad. At age eleven, Lam, the son of a South Vietnamese general, came to California on the eve of the fall of Saigon to communist forces. He traded his Vietnamese name for a more American one and immersed himself in the allure of the American dream: something not clearly defined for him or his family. Reflecting on the meanings of the Vietnam War to the Vietnamese people themselves—particularly to those in exile—Lam picks with searing honesty at the roots of his doubleness and his parents’ longing for a homeland that no longer exists.
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About the Author
Andrew Lam is an editor and cofounder of New America Media, an association of over two thousand ethnic media outlets in America. His essays have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country, and his short stories are anthologized widely. Followed by a film crew back to his homeland, Vietnam, he was featured in the documentary My Journey Home, which aired nationwide on PBS in 2004. His book Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora won a PEN American Beyond Margins award in 2006. Lam currently lives in San Francisco.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Perfume Dreams is a must read book for all Vietnamese Americans. Andrew is a gifted writer, a gate keeper, & history teller for Vietnamese American who are living in America. He has never lost his touch with his root. The Perfume Dreams touches all sides of experiences the Vietnamese refugees and immigrants. The "haves and not haves, the fortunate and unfortunate" lives of Vietnamese-Americans. We should all feel proud to have someone like Andrew to keep us in touch with ourselves and remind us of the challenges in living in America.
Great literary essays that open the gate to understanding of refugees plight, not just vietnamese but all who have lost home and must remake elsewhere. great read.
Tremendous & heartfelt writing. And indebted to the passage, "Home is portable if one is in commune with one's soul. ...For mine is a landscape where Saigon, New York, and Paris intersect, where the Perfume River of Hue flows under the Golden Gate Bridge." Astonishing. Outstanding!
I love Andrew Lam 's work. His essays are written from the heart but chased with a literary flare that demands admiration. As a chinese american i nevertheless find common ground with his soul searching work and see california and immigration in new light. check out his latest as well: birds of paradise lost - an amazing piece of work.