“Vietnameria” is G.B. Tran’s, the author, the true story of how his family fled Vietnam for the U.S. right before Saigon fell. Anytime a family immigrates, whether by choice or as refugees, there causes a break between the parents and their children. Most of the time the children identify with the new country while the parents maintain ties with the country of origin. This is the case with Tran’s family. His parents encourage him to come with them when they go to Vietnam to meet his family and see where his parents came from. When he’s a teenager he sees it more as an inconvenience, but as he gets older he begins to understand the importance of knowing your roots.
Lately it seems like the Vietnam war-era has become something that’s less taboo than when I was younger. I’m seeing more documentaries on it and seeing more books that are processing that complicated, chaotic period. “Vietnamerica” is an important piece in understanding what happened because it’s told from the Vietnamese perspective and not the American military, political, or colonial perspective.
I recommend this book if not for it’s important story of what happens when a country is torn apart by war, but how important it is to know where you came from and to hear the stories of your family. Sometimes it feels like we know our parents or grandparents, but many times there’s stories that come out only as we get older that give us a fuller picture of just who our parents/grandparents are.