Foreword for One Life Of Learning
Dr. Sylvester Clifford
Hung Tan Nguyen fled Vietnam in April 30th, 1975, having served in the South
Vietnamese Navy. He, his wife and children, and some of his wife's relatives
have established themselves in the United States. In this book we see Vietnam
through Hung's experiences as he develops into an adult, and then through
his struggles to succeed in his second homeland. Here are revealed the
tenderness and toughness of child and adult, the resiliency of youth, the
ever renewing dreams and persistence of humans in desperate circumstances.
Throughout, there are touches of humor, and always a clear-eyed reality.
The volume will be of particular interest to those thousands of Americans
who helped Vietnamese refugees gain a foothold in the U.S.. For them it
is a rare opportunity to "See ourselves as others see us." It will be
a valuable history to other refugees, and even more precious to their
thoroughly American descendents.
Mr. Nguyen previously has published both poetry and prose in his native
language; this is his first professional venture into American English.
Those twists of grammar and unfamiliar idioms that mark him as a "foreigner"
enrich the writing by novel imagery and originality. The story itself
reawakens poignant memories -- cuts into the mind and heart all the more
sharply for being true.
Refugee Resettlement Committee
Baøi Keá Tieáp