The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood

The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood

by Kien Nguyen
4.7 38

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood by Kien Nguyen

A story of hope, a story of survival, and an incredible journey of escape, 'The Unwanted' is the only memoir by an Amerasian who stayed behind in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and who is now living in America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316284615
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/08/2002
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 391,842
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)

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Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author gives a revealing account of life soon after the Vietnamese communist take-over in 1975. If I hadn't heard simmilar accounts from my own brother, a former lieutenant in the south Vietnamese army at the time, I would not have believed the stories as told by the author. This recount also lets immigrants like us appreciate our adopted country, the great USA, even more. Vitally important privileges like clean water, plentiful food, safe shelter, safe passable roads, a lawful and tolerant society, and a strong national Constitution are often taken for granted. That is the luxury of being an American.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this memoir and am surprised that the author remembers everything in such detail. I guess this is why this is such a powerful memoir. It is hard to imagine what it was like to grow up in Vietnam after the war, especially for people born two decades after the war's end. Although he does not exclusively concetrate on the war, it is still apparent throughout the book that the war and its outcome are what determined significant events in his life and his family's life. And the obstacles his family faced not only from corrupt officials but from their own family members who were unsupportive and jealous of their former position of wealth. He also gave a glimpse into the life of Amero-Asian children who were abandoned by their parents after the war and the stigma they faced from other Vietnamese. I recommend this book to anyone wondering what it was like to grow up in Vietnam after the end of the Vietnam War and how it was to grow up ostracized because of an ethnic association with the enemy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My heart goes out to Dr Nguyen and his family. More than 24 hrs after reading this book, I cannot get it off my mind as it has made an indelible mark. Although I was tired beyond belief when I sat down to start the book, I could not put it down until I had finished it -- about 6 hrs later. 'Unwanted: A Memoir' has got to be one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. I am in absolute awe of the author and the story of his life. This incredibly descriptive book takes the reader to the point of being able to see/smell in your mind's eye. Few books truly have the ability to accomplish this task. Dr Nguyen's ability to convey his life events and emotions 'matter of factly' without pandering sentimentality are outstanding. The story speaks very loudly enough for itself. I am so very proud of him and his accomplishments and wish him well with all of his endeavors. Amazing, absolutely amazing. I will be recommending this book to everyone I know.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first decided to read this book, I was doing it only for credit in my accelerated english class, thinking it wouldn't take that long to read. (We are required to read two classic fictions and one nonfiction per semester in my english class.) I started this book on a Monday morning and finished it that same day. This story made me cry, which says something because I'm not a very emotional person. The story of Kien is mesmerizing and it opened my eyes to see that not everyone grows up in an ideal way. People should read this book, if not for a class then for their own personal gain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lb2ak More than 1 year ago
Amazing book of survival. One that alot of Americans can not even imagine. Make me realise how truely lucky we are to live in the USA vs a communist/socialist state. Thank you for telling your story. I am glad you and your family survived. Can your next book be about the trial and tribulations transitioning to the USA? I would read it in a heart beat!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book, hard to put down. Definitely a recommended read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really love reading this book. The way he describe everything just makes you feel like you're standing there watching it unfold right before your eyes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book at least a year ago and it remains at the top of my list. I recommend it to anyone that reads. My teenage kids have all read it and written book reports on it. I would catch myself crying in response to the tragedy's that Kien witnessed and endured. I think I read it in a day and once I was done I wanted to pick it up and read it again. Please read, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Traveling_soccermom More than 1 year ago
I travel quite a lot and am always looking for a good book. This book was over the top. It grabbed me from the beginning through the touching story of a child living through the struggle and suffering of the Vietnam war. This was recommended from my high schoool son and I have passed it on to friends and family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was truely one of the best I have ever read. Compelling story that really touched me and made me appreciate all that I have in life...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of biographies of everyday people. This book was great. It shows the strength and courage of the common man in times of immense trails.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an american chinese. With parents who endured many things such as Kien. I've always heard the story's of what they had gone through. My parents are chinese but were born in Cambodia and raised in Vietnam. The story's they told me were very intriging. But reading this book let me understand from another perspective since it wasn't from someone I knew. I realize what my parents faced to to give themselves and their children a better future. Amazing
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book. To learn what another had to endure through no fault of his own and how he conquered these feats was so well told. Gives us all some insight. I truly enjoyed reading this story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of a mixed Vietnamese, who feels like an outsider among his own people. The reason, that he is treated like a second class citizen, is not so much because of the prejudice against him, an Amerasian child, but more because of the prejudice against his mother. From Kien's own descriptions, she seems like a person who advances in life, not on her own hard work, but by mating and marrying into wealth. Her kind represents the downfall of the old Vietnamese morale, which is heavily influenced by Confucius' teachings. One of the beliefs is that even in life's worst circumstances, keep your integrity at all cost because it is the only thing that matters. Most intellectuals in Vietnam at that time resents the fact that many young Vietnamese women would abandon the old teaching, degrade themselves by selling to the American GI's. The author's view is somewhat bound by his own fustrations of his life's station due to his mother's status. His own behaviors never did rise above the people that he thought of as treating him unfairly. Kim, his romance interest and the only person treated him more than an equal, was taken advantage of and used by him. His situation is sad, but I think his own actions bring about some of the treatments he got. I am glad that he was given a second chance to start his life over in the U.S. and made something of himself. I hope that he will move on beyond his grippling inferiority complex and learn to be kind to the people around him.