Voices of Vietnamese Boat People : Nineteen Narratives of Escape and Survival / Edition 1

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On April 30, 1975, the Hanoi government of North Vietnam took control over the South. South Vietnamese, particularly "intellectuals" and those thought to have been associated with the previous regime, underwent terrible punishment, persecution and "re-education." Seeking their freedom, thousands of South Vietnamese took to the sea in rickety boats, often with few supplies, and faced the dangers of nature, pirates, and starvation. While the sea and its danger claimed many lives, those who made it to the refugee camps still faced struggle and hardships in their quest for freedom.

Here are collected the narratives of nineteen men and women who survived the ordeal of escape by sea. Today, they live in the United States as students, professors, entrepreneurs, scientists, and craftspeople who have chosen to tell the stories of their struggles and their triumph. Each narrative is accompanied by biographical information.

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Editorial Reviews

Today's Librarian
simple, elegant and heartfelt prose.... The essays are both chilling and comforting
The Book Report
interesting...give[s] the reader a glimpse into Vietnamese culture and customs. The book would be an asset to any world history class
Journal of Refugee Studies
"STARK AND MOVING...a good opportunity for those who have not had a chance to read about the boat people saga"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786407859
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 393,496
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Terrell Cargill is an associate professor of English at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee. Jade Quang Huynh, a native of Vietnam, is currently in Hutto, Texas.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
1 Simple Map, Small Compass, Three Flashlights 7
2 The Miracle of the Whirlpool 22
3 Stranger in the Rice Field, Whale in the Sea 28
4 Gold Rings and Jeans 35
5 If I Die, Will Anybody Know? 47
6 Our Lady of the Boat 54
7 The Norwegian Protector 63
8 Drowning the Boat 66
9 Out of San Diego and into Saigon 86
10 Vung Tau, Pulau Bidong, and Bataan 91
11 Hainan, Hong Kong, and Tuen Mun Camp 99
12 Flight from Classification 13 107
13 I'd Rather Die in the Sea 113
14 Coffee Shop from Two Spoons 118
15 Coolie in America 132
16 To the Land of Snow 151
17 My Name Is William, but Call Me Bill 158
18 Live Free or Die 164
19 Return to Leam Sing Camp 171
App UNHCR Statistics Concerning Indo-Chinese Refugees in East and Southeast Asia 181
Index 189
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