Leaving Saigon chronicles the Nguyen family's flight from North Vietnam in 1954 to escape the communist takeover and begin anew in Saigon. The family of nine began their new life in a house in Saigon with a dirt floor and coconut leaf roof. Xuan, the oldest daughter, recounts her life from the rural North through the last stages of the Vietnam War and how it was to "grow up ugly" in a culture that was undergoing change. She worked for the Americans on Saigon's giant Tan Son Nhut Airport, became involved in the black market, and married an American. Her relationship with the Americans ostracized her from her family and neighbors. The forty-year family journey goes from Nam Dinh to Saigon; from Kontum and Pleiku through the fall of Saigon, ten years' of political prison, and escape to freedom by boat. Xuan's peasant-to-American journey was one of personal trial, a new life, and changed fortunes. This is a story about a war, about adopting a new culture, and about friendship.
- Paperback | 576 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 36.58mm | 952.54g
- 20 Jul 2010
- London, United Kingdom
- black & white illustrations