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Leaving Saigon: A Story about Starting Over William Hopkins

Leaving Saigon: A Story about Starting Over

William Hopkins

Published
ISBN : 9781412082327
Paperback
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 About the Book 

The Nguyen family fled North Vietnam in 1954 to escape the Communist takeover and began anew in a resettlement camp in Saigons suburbs. Hoan Nguyen struggled to support his five daughters and two sons and the family grew slowly more prosperous.MoreThe Nguyen family fled North Vietnam in 1954 to escape the Communist takeover and began anew in a resettlement camp in Saigons suburbs. Hoan Nguyen struggled to support his five daughters and two sons and the family grew slowly more prosperous. After leaving the refugee camp, they began life in Saigon in a one-room house with a dirt floor and coconut leaf roof. Over the next ten years, the family fortunes improved and they moved into The Millionaires House.Xuan, the oldest daughter, recounts her life from the rural North through the last stages of the Vietnam War, and how it was for her to grow up ugly in a culture that did not value her appearance.The American presence in the South affected the Vietnamese social structure and Xuans association with the American military had a great influence on her desire to avoid the traditional destiny of an unmarried woman. She worked for the Americans in Saigons giant Tan Son Nhut Airport, became involved in the black market to help support her family, and then married an American Army Sergeant. Xuans relationship with the Americans disgraced her traditional father and ostracized her from her family and neighbors.Xuans sisters, Tram and Bich, married Dalat Military Academy graduate ARVN officers, and their stories give personal accounts of the fall of free Vietnam after the Americans left.Xuan became an American citizen and worked to get her family from Vietnam after the war ended. Her life began again when her husband deserted, leaving her with two young boys. Her story of being alone and struggling in a new country to raise two sons is one of determination and hard work. It is also about adopting a new culture, deepfriendship, and of becoming beautiful.Over 100 photographs are included.