Overview

A superb new graphic memoir in which an inspired artist/storyteller reveals the road that brought his family to where they are today: Vietnamerica GB Tran is a young Vietnamese American artist who grew up distant from (and largely indifferent to) his family's history. Born and raised in South Carolina as a son of immigrants, he knew that his parents had fled Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. But even as they struggled to adapt to life in America, they preferred to forget the past-and to focus on their children's...
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Vietnamerica

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Overview

A superb new graphic memoir in which an inspired artist/storyteller reveals the road that brought his family to where they are today: Vietnamerica GB Tran is a young Vietnamese American artist who grew up distant from (and largely indifferent to) his family's history. Born and raised in South Carolina as a son of immigrants, he knew that his parents had fled Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. But even as they struggled to adapt to life in America, they preferred to forget the past-and to focus on their children's future. It was only in his late twenties that GB began to learn their extraordinary story. When his last surviving grandparents die within months of each other, GB visits Vietnam for the first time and begins to learn the tragic history of his family, and of the homeland they left behind. In this family saga played out in the shadow of history, GB uncovers the root of his father's remoteness and why his mother had remained in an often fractious marriage; why his grandfather had abandoned his own family to fight for the Viet Cong; why his grandmother had had an affair with a French soldier. GB learns that his parents had taken harrowing flight from Saigon during the final hours of the war not because they thought America was better but because they were afraid of what would happen if they stayed. They entered America-a foreign land they couldn't even imagine-where family connections dissolved and shared history was lost within a span of a single generation. In telling his family's story, GB finds his own place in this saga of hardship and heroism. Vietnamerica is a visually stunning portrait of survival, escape, and reinvention-and of the gift of the American immigrants' dream, passed on to their children. Vietnamerica is an unforgettable story of family revelation and reconnection-and a new graphic-memoir classic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345544490
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/2013
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 935,447
  • File size: 110 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Gia-Bao (aka GB) Tran was born in South Carolina in 1976, a year after his parents fled Vietnam. He aspires to continue living the good life as a Brooklyn cartoonist/illustrator thanks, in large part, to the endless patience of his wife. His parents constantly remind him that if this "art thingy" doesn't work out, he can, as the only family member born in the United States, be president instead.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 10, 2012

    I am almost too emotional right now to write this review. This i

    I am almost too emotional right now to write this review. This is because I am also a second-generation Vietnamese American who has been largely indifferent to my parents’ history until recently. GB’s family saga holds personal significance to me, because it brings into stark relief the generational and cultural divide that separates my own family. However, I believe that other readers without a similar background to the author will also be drawn to this visceral graphic memoir.

    Tran’s family journey jumps back and forth in time and place, spanning decades and continents. But the order in which he lays out the events feels familiar rather than confusing, as if you are there with him gathering the pieces to his family’s story. You are swept back to his grandparents’ and parents’ daily lives, and begin to understand the causes and events leading up to the Vietnam War. Tran is a genius at capturing emotions and facial expressions in his illustrations. Every color, line, and layout brings the desperation and destruction of war, as well as the complexity of human connections (and disconnections) to life. This isn’t just his family’s story, but the story of every family around the world touched by war and political corruption.

    I cried reading the final pages of this book, knowing that creating this book was a process of healing for GB Tran, and reading it has helped me on my own way to healing. Vietnamerica will give you a new perspective on the Vietnam War, being American, and what family really means. I borrowed this book from the library, but intend to purchase a copy. It is a story I must share with my family and our next generation.

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