The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale
These stories from a Pulitzer Prize winner centre around the experiences of Vietnamese refugees who flee their country as Saigon falls, and focus on the communities they form in the US. Superbly written, the stories convey the disconnection, vulnerability and dismay felt by refugees, the pervasive influence of the past and the persistence of family obligation. There are formidable women, tragic ghosts, comic con-men, visits to the much changed old-country, and the first signs of a second generation who embrace the lifestyle of their new country.
Highly recommended by Berkelouw’s First Wednesday Book Club.