Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I'm reading The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang right now, and I highly recommend it. Subtitled "A Hmong Family Memoir," this book describes the refugee experience better than any book I've ever read. She tells the story of the Hmong people coming from the jungles of Laos (where they were in hiding because they helped U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam war), crossing the Mekong River, wasting away behind the fences of refugee camps in Thailand, and adjusting to life in the U.S., and she does it all with beautiful writing and an excellent sense of storytelling. This book was chosen as the "common text" next year at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where I teach, and I'm looking forward to discussing all the issues of identity it brings up with my students.