This novel follows Tran, a Vietnamese woman, from her days of working for a politically charged newspaper in Saigon in the '70s to her family life in California and on into her children's lives. A precise story about the nature of belonging. I loved it. Recommended By Aubrey W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
In this stunning novel about a Vietnamese family resettling in the isolation of California gold country, Dao Strom investigates the myth of westward progress and the consequences of cultural displacement.
Told from multiple perspectives and interwoven with the intimate reflections of a middle child, Grass Roof, Tin Roof begins with the story of Tran, a Vietnamese writer facing government persecution, who flees her homeland during the exodus of 1975 and brings her two children to the West. Here she marries a Danish American man who has survived a different war. He promises understanding and guidance, but the psychic consequences of his past soon hinder his relationships with the family. The children, for whom the war is now a distant shadow, struggle to understand the world around them on their own terms.
In delicate, innovative prose, Strom's characters experience the collision of cultures and the spiritual aftermath of war on the most visceral level. Grass Roof, Tin Roof is a beautiful work of profundity and empathy, powerful emotion and rare insight.
Strom's characters are all strong in their own way..."
"Impressionistic novel...an affecting study on the slippery nature of home."
"Optimistic and inclusive..."
"An aching sense of rootlessness and identity crisis make for an affecting and memorable debut."
"Strom explores the mysteries of loss, cultureand identity, with skill, poignancy and imagination."
"Strom explores the mysteries of loss, culture and identity, with skill, poignancy and imagination." The Detroit Free Press
"A vigorous accomplishment - and a rewardinly complex one...It feels like the work of a major writer." The Seattle Times
"Fine debut novel..." The Miami Herald
"Impressionistic novel...an affecting study on the slippery nature of home." The Los Angeles Times
"Optimistic and inclusive..." The San Francisco Chronicle
"An aching sense of rootlessness and identity crisis make for an affecting and memorable debut." Kirkus Reviews
Strom's characters are all strong in their own way..." Library Journal
About the Author
Dao Strom was born in 1973 in Saigon to a well-known writer and journalist. Her mother fled the country with her when she was a baby; her father stayed and was later sent to reeducation camps. Strom grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills with her mother and stepfather. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her stories have appeared in the Chicago Tribune; Still Wild, an anthology edited by Larry McMurtry; and several literary magazines, and she is the recipient of a James Michener fellowship, the Chicago Tribune/Nelson Algren Award, and several other grants. She lives in Austin, Texas.