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Book review for The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Le Thi Diem Thuy - Essay Example

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Subject: Essay, History and Political Science: Book review for "The Gangster We Are All Looking For" by Le Thi Diem Thuy Date: Title: Discovering the new identity: Vietnamese Americans on conclusion of the Vietnam War The contents of the novel are fact-based…
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Book review for The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Le Thi Diem Thuy
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Book review for The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Le Thi Diem Thuy

Download file to see previous pages... Thuy gives us a shared feeling of the situation and we are placed in layers of captivity by the elders unintentionally though! The circumstances were beyond the control of the Vietnamese elders. Loss of identity and the ensuing struggles was the first phase in their life. Dealing with the consequences and ensuing struggle to get accustomed to the new surroundings was the second stage. The third stage was breaking free from the past and looking forward to the new horizons. By and large Vietnamese-Americans have translated into reality that every crisis is an opportunity and they have gone through the difficult process of establishing the new identity. One important question is whether the author is sincere about her writings. I have no doubt about that and she has recorded the narrations without any motivated desires and as such I give more credence to the narrations than any researched material. This history of this family is like the barometer of the history of Vietnamese people in relation to America. From destruction of identity to its reconstructions is not an ordinary effort. Certain features of the lost identity are lost forever and they can never be recouped, and the only possibility is their fond and painful recollection. The author asserts that she gets some satisfaction by thinking about the palm trees of Vietnam, her parent’s love story, the “gangster” dispositions of her father, and she even does not hesitate to name her mother as “bad ass”. The unfortunate incident of the death of her brother constantly bothers her. In the end, the novel leaves the reader directionless and destination-less. That perhaps was the plight of millions of Vietnamese people who suffered untold miseries on account of the long war. The suffering of the near and dear ones of the Vietnamese and Americans soldiers who died was also intense. Besides being a writer, Thuy, is a performing artist. She was born in Vietnam and her parents left Vietnam along with her. The family settled in San Diego. The author writes, “We live in the country of California, the province of San Diego, the village of Linda Vista.”(88)The author now lives in western Massachusetts. Her parents lived a violently troubled marriage and the author had to put on with this private family war and it must have impacted her psyche as an adolescent as her mind was impressionable. About her father the author writes, “...my father, a Buddhist gangster from the North...” (79) Like other Vietnamese who suffered on account of the war, the beginning of the new life was extremely tough for them, as they were seized with grief, longing and cravings for love. Every incident narrated in the story, has the reflection of these three elements. At the psychological level, the author enjoys a love-hate relationship with America. The atrocities committed by the American Army and the resultant devastation to many thousands of families were part of the history. America was then protector to a number of Vietnamese also, as the country was caught in an ideological civil war, which the author considers as more damaging than the American war. Coming to terms with the American way of life was not optional, but destined compulsion. She found everything new, the threatening technology embraced every segment of life, the cultural gap and the racist behavior of schoolmates, who clubbed all Southeast Asian immigrants as “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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