The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen


The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Refugees is a beautiful symphony of short stories, composed with a sweet yet bitter melody of the dreams and hardships of immigration. The stories revolve around the common theme of vietnamese refugees who have settled in the United States, but each offer their own unique twist and journey.

Songs of aspirations, desires and expectations, silenced by the harsh reality of discrimination and the chilling eerie feeling of not belonging and losing one's identity.

An identity lost somewhere along the busy winding streets crammed with new people, speaking new languages, housing new beliefs and opinions. A rich assortment of complex characters, dropped into a complex world bearing new realities and rules of living. Each story highlights the raging battlefield between the adopted homeland and the country of birth, scars and wounds telling the stories of the desperate struggle to “fit in” while still staying true to one's tradition and roots. Each page trembles with the terrible heartache of losing one's country to war, and instead being forced to fall in love with another.

This cleverly crafted collection of short stories, gives voice to the incredibly real and raw emotions and complications faced by refugees. A deeply moving and powerful love letter addressed to all the travelling hearts and souls of refugees around the world.

Reviewed by Vindhya Kathuria

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Hannah Gough