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1 Burnside Ethnic Studies- Asian American

The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir

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The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir Cover

ISBN13: 9781566892087
ISBN10: 1566892082
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand and onward to America. But lacking a written language of their own, the Hmong experience has been primarily recorded by others. Driven to tell her familyandrsquo;s story after her grandmotherandrsquo;s death, The Latehomecomer is Kao Kalia Yangandrsquo;s tribute to the remarkable woman whose spirit held them all together. It is also an eloquent, firsthand account of a people who have worked hard to make their voices heard.

Beginning in the 1970s, as the Hmong were being massacred for their collaboration with the United States during the Vietnam War, Yang recounts the harrowing story of her familyandrsquo;s captivity, the daring rescue undertaken by her father and uncles, and their narrow escape into Thailand where Yang was born in the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp.

When she was six years old, Yangandrsquo;s family immigrated to America, and she evocatively captures the challenges of adapting to a new place and a new language. Through her words, the dreams, wisdom, and traditions passed down from her grandmother and shared by an entire community have finally found a voice.

Together with her sister, Kao Kalia Yang is the founder of a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. A graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University, Yang has recently screened The Place Where We Were Born, a film documenting the experiences of Hmong American refugees. Visit her website at www.kaokaliayang.com.

Review:

"Yang, cofounder of the immigrant-services company Words Wanted, was born in a Hmong refugee camp in Thailand in 1980. Her grandmother had wanted to stay in the camp, to make it easier for her spirit to find its way back to her birthplace when she died, but people knew it would soon be liquidated. America looked promising, so Yang and her family, along with scores of other Hmong, left the jungles of Thailand to fly to California, then settle in St. Paul, Minn. In many ways, these hardworking refugees followed the classic immigrant arc, with the adults working double jobs so the children could get an education and be a credit to the community. But the Hmong immigrants were also unique — coming from a non-Christian, rain forest culture, with no homeland to imagine returning to, with hardly anyone in America knowing anything about them. As Yang wryly notes, they studied the Vietnam War at school, without their lessons ever mentioning that the Hmong had been fighting for the Americans. Yang tells her family's story with grace; she narrates their struggles, beautifully weaving in Hmong folklore and culture. By the end of this moving, unforgettable book, when Yang describes the death of her beloved grandmother, readers will delight at how intimately they have become part of this formerly strange culture." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Destined to touch every reader's heart, this riveting memoir parallels thousands of untold Hmong stories.

About the Author

Born in a Thai refugee camp in 1980, Kao Kalia Yang immigrated to Minnesota when she was six. Together with her sister, she founded Words Wanted, a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. A graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University, Yang has also recently completed a short film on the Hmong American refugee experience.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

kagillogly, April 16, 2009 (view all comments by kagillogly)
Very beautifully observed and told, Yang has a unique and perceptive voice quite unlike any other memoirist I've read. She's taken the story and poetry traditions of her people, especially her family, and translated it into English. By this I don't just mean the act of changing words from one language to another, but the act of bridging across cultures, cosmographies, and ways of being. Aside from the incredible writing, it's just plain a good story!
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Sami, July 19, 2008 (view all comments by Sami)
My thanks go to Koa Kalia Yang for giving us the gift of her family’s story. She tells it with grace and utter simplicity. It was a joy to read. America has been waiting for a long time to understand more about the Hmong, who stood by the United States during the Vietnam War, and then faced cruel reprisals in Laos after we left. Ms Yang does a beautiful job of showing, not telling.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781566892087
Author:
Yang, Kao Kalia
Publisher:
Coffee House Press
Subject:
Immigrants
Subject:
Grandmothers
Subject:
cultural heritage
Subject:
People of Color
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Immigrants -- United States.
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20080431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
15 BandW photographs
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
8.8 x 5.9 x 0.8 in 15 oz

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Asian American
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
History and Social Science » Military » Vietnam War

The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 296 pages Coffee House Press - English 9781566892087 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Yang, cofounder of the immigrant-services company Words Wanted, was born in a Hmong refugee camp in Thailand in 1980. Her grandmother had wanted to stay in the camp, to make it easier for her spirit to find its way back to her birthplace when she died, but people knew it would soon be liquidated. America looked promising, so Yang and her family, along with scores of other Hmong, left the jungles of Thailand to fly to California, then settle in St. Paul, Minn. In many ways, these hardworking refugees followed the classic immigrant arc, with the adults working double jobs so the children could get an education and be a credit to the community. But the Hmong immigrants were also unique — coming from a non-Christian, rain forest culture, with no homeland to imagine returning to, with hardly anyone in America knowing anything about them. As Yang wryly notes, they studied the Vietnam War at school, without their lessons ever mentioning that the Hmong had been fighting for the Americans. Yang tells her family's story with grace; she narrates their struggles, beautifully weaving in Hmong folklore and culture. By the end of this moving, unforgettable book, when Yang describes the death of her beloved grandmother, readers will delight at how intimately they have become part of this formerly strange culture." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
Destined to touch every reader's heart, this riveting memoir parallels thousands of untold Hmong stories.
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