Liem also eventually says "I love you" to Marcus, who feels that the words are superficial. She even confronts him regarding him calling her "Yen," but this is to no avail; he thinks she is crazy. When his mother catches sight of a soldier's uniform, Mrs. Hoa tells them that it belonged to her husband, who died in the war; she all continues to tell about how she also lost two of her sons. The title comes from how Mimi asks Thomas during one of their rare meetings, "Aren't there times when you'd rather be someone else besides you?". It is Nguyen's first published short story collection and his first book after winning the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer. Thomas's father slashes Sam's car's tires and hurls a boulder at the windshield before they slyly leave the neighborhood. Mrs. Hoa visits them the following week demanding "they do their part," but his mother again refuses, calling her an extortionist. Nguyen and his family eventually settled in San Jose, which at the time was the second largest Vietnamese refugee community in the United States. They turn to face him and the three of them share a fleeting moment together. Afterward, when Marcus is asleep, Liem answers a short phone call from Parrish before reading the reply from his father, who asks him to "live a correct life." The culture shock is palatable. The title comes from the song "I'd Love You to Want Me" which plays at the wedding and causes him to call her "Yen.". Carver is apathetic as he did not care much for the country during his war years which leads him to clash with Claire, a language teacher who claims she has a "Vietnamese soul." The difference between Mrs. Hoa and the boy’s parents continues to prove the individuality of various refugees. . When a monsoon strikes fifteen brief minutes later, he is drenched and later hospitalized for pneumonia. Viet Thanh Nguyen – The Refugees Audio Book Online. After the book is published, the ghostwriter decides to write her own work about ghosts. Viet Thanh Nguyen's "The Refugees" explores life caught between two worlds PBS NewsHour. The Refugees is a collection of perfectly formed stories written over a period of twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family. Being surrounded by fellow refugees gave Nguyen a sense of his Vietnamese heritage and greatly impacted his writing, especially The Sympathizer. "-Financial Times (UK)< "At a time when paranoia about refugees and migrants has reached a new high in America and perhaps the world, Viet Thanh Nguyen's first collection of short stories, The Refugees, adds a necessary voice humanizing this group of demonized people . So let me give you a taste of just how wonderful—and … Grove Press Nguyen's debut novel, The Sympathizer, and short story collection, The Refugees… Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Sympathizer was one of the most widely and highly praised novels of 2015. However, in that terminal period, a donor, Louis's father Men Vu, is matched with Arthur and after a successful transplant, he is healthy again. After the death of his mother, Thomas lives with his father in Echo Park. From the playful mind of Viet’s then 5-year old son Ellison came the story for Chicken of the Sea, about chickens who become pirates. After she is gone, his father reminds his mother that not paying may hurt their business as rumors about their "unpatriotic" behavior could spread throughout the community and turn people against them. Mrs. Khanh and her recently retired husband who has Alzheimer's disease live in Westminster, California. Young, author of The Vietnam Wars, calls this book “Beautifully written, powerfully argued, thoughtful, provocative.”. During church that same week, they run into Mrs. Hoa who says that she will visit their shop next week and will expect a donation. ― Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Refugees. . 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