This is the compelling personal narrative of Jade Ngoc Quang Huynh, who was born in South Vietnam in 1958. He survived the war in Vietnam to become a university student in 1974. But because the Hanoi government policy was to persecute writers, intellectuals, and any suspected enemies of the state, Huynh was sent to a labor camp. South Wind Changing tells the riveting story of this early existence, his escape from Vietnam, his time in a Thai refugee camp, and the eventual new life he was able to carve out for himself in the United States. Here, where he first learned English while working at McDonalds, he was finally able to complete his education. In this well-written Asian-American memoir we encounter a remarkable life of struggle and survival, dreams and determination, imperialism and immigration, and other key twentieth-century experiences.
Jade Ngoc Quang Huynh was born in 1957 in the Mekong Delta region of South Vietnam. He attended Saigon University in 1974 until the North Vietnamese Army took control of the south in 1975. After enduring a year of inhuman conditions and torture in a labor camp, he managed to escape and finally reached a refugee camp in Thailand. In 1978, Huynh flew to the United States. Since his arrival, he has worked in a series of factory and cleaning jobs, completed his B.A. at Bennington College, and received an M.F.A. from Brown University.
South Wind Changing 4 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
This is a powerful story of survival and eventually escape from the jungle re-education camps of post-war Viet Nam.
See, perhaps for the first time, the untold side of this tragic piece of history. Huynh's prose is precise and poetic, at times transcending the brutal realism of the story in order to reach the spiritual core that held him together through his experience.
This is an important book for anyone who is interested in this time period, and more importantly, where we, the US and Viet Nam, will go from here.