Bich (she pronounces it as “Bit”) was born in Vietnam but her father and other relatives brought her and her older sister to the United States as very young children after the Fall of Saigon. Her mother, who was not living with her father, was left behind. After the family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, her father married a college-educated woman from a Mexican-American family. Bich grew up trying to be the most American girl possible but never fitting in as the Asian Buddhist in her mostly white school, the local Vietnamese culture (she didn’t speak Vietnamese), her stepmother’s Mexican culture, or even in her own family.
The author’s memories of growing up in 1980’s America are very precise, both sad and funny, and you will empathize. What she didn’t realize as a child but which she sees more as an adult is that almost NO ONE thinks they fit in to their family or their school. Her struggles to find herself are at the same time both emblematic of the struggles of every immigrant and the struggles of every child – because we are all immigrants to our world in some sense. We are trying to fit in with the people who are already there.
She’s a fine writer indeed.
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