2010 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
The act of remembering is a means of bringing the past alive and an imaginative way of dealing with loss. It has been the subject of much recent scholarship and is of particular relevance at a time of widespread transnational migration. This book is a valuable and original contribution to the field of diaspora studies. Based on in-depth oral narratives of forty Vietnamese women, it deals with themes both universal and specific to this diaspora: divergent memories in families, the significance of homeland, the return to Vietnam, cross-cultural relationships, intergenerational tensions, and the issues of silence and unspoken trauma among Vietnamese refugees. It is the first study to apply memory and trauma theories to a substantial base of oral narratives by Vietnamese women in the West. Nguyen argues that understanding of these narratives provides not only an insight into the way Vietnamese women have dealt with loss, but also illuminates the experience of the wider Vietnamese diaspora and other refugees.