The Unwanted

A Memoir of Childhood
Author: Kien Nguyen
Publisher: Back Bay Books
ISBN: 0316050059
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 352
View: 6095
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Saigon fell to the Viet Cong on April 30, 1975. Kien Nguyen watched the last U.S. Army helicopter leave without him, without his brother, without his mother, without his grandparents. Left to a nightmarish existence in a violated & decimated country, Kien was more at risk than most because of his odd blond hair & his light eyes - because he was Amerasian. He was the most unwanted. Told with stark & poetic brilliance, this is a story of survival & hope, a moving & personal record of a tumultuous & important piece of history.

Chinese Cinderella

The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter
Author: Adeline Yen Mah
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
ISBN: 9780307482808
Category: Young Adult Nonfiction
Page: 224
View: 6613
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A riveting memoir of a girl's painful coming-of-age in a wealthy Chinese family during the 1940s. A Chinese proverb says, "Falling leaves return to their roots." In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph and courage in the face of despair. Adeline's affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck after her mother dies giving birth to her. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to the disdain of her stepmother, while her stepbrother and stepsister are spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not enough to compensate for what she really yearns for -- the love and understanding of her family. Following the success of the critically acclaimed adult bestseller Falling Leaves, this memoir is a moving telling of the classic Cinderella story, with Adeline Yen Mah providing her own courageous voice. Includes 6-page photo insert. From the Hardcover edition.

Surviving Twice

Amerasian Children of the Vietnam War
Author: Trin Yarborough
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
ISBN: 1612342957
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 1201
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Surviving Twice is the story of five Vietnamese Amerasians born during the Vietnam War to American soldiers and Vietnamese mothers. Unfortunately, they were not among the few thousand Amerasian children who came to the United States before the war's end and grew up as Americans, speaking English and attending American schools. Instead, this group of Amerasians faced much more formidable obstacles, both in Vietnam and in their new home. Surviving Twice raises significant questions about how mixed-race children born of wars and occupations are treated and the ways in which the shifting laws, policies, social attitudes, and bureaucratic red tape of two nations affect them their entire lives.

The Tapestries

A Novel
Author: Kien Nguyen
Publisher: Back Bay Books
ISBN: 0316055549
Category: Fiction
Page: 320
View: 9449
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In THE TAPESTRIES, based loosely on the life of the author's grandfather, who, in the early 1900s, was a professional embroiderer in the court of the last king of Vietnam-Kien Nguyen has reimagined his grandfather's amazing story to weave a tapestry of his own-a stunning and page-turning novel. Dan Nguyen is seven years old when he witnesses his father brutally beheaded by the mayor in a bid for power. Dan's wife, Ven, 20 years his senior, makes him promise to one day avenge his father's death. In order to protect him until he is old enough to defend his family's honor, Ven hides Dan as a servant in the house of the enemy-and Dan falls in love with the one person he can never have, the mayor's beautiful granddaughter Tai May. Dan's journey from slavery into scandal, and finally to the royal court where he has the chance to win Tai May's heart, is a story of spellbinding drama and intrigue, and, ultimately, the story of a great love affair.

Song of the Buffalo Boy


Author: Sherry Garland
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780152000981
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Page: 282
View: 1372
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Shunned and mistreated because of her mixed heritage, and determined to avoid an arranged marriage, seventeen-year-old Loi runs away to Ho Chi Minh City with the hope that she and the boy she loves will be able to go to the United States to find her American father.

Cartwheels in a Sari

A Memoir of Growing Up Cult
Author: Jayanti Tamm
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780307451644
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 304
View: 9191
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In this colorful, eye-opening memoir, Jayanti Tamm offers an unforgettable glimpse into the hidden world of growing up “cult” in mainstream America. Through Jayanti’s fascinating story–the first book to chronicle Sri Chinmoy–she unmasks a leader who convinces thousands of disciples to follow him, scores of nations to dedicate monuments to him, and throngs of celebrities (Sting, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela) to extol him. When the short, bald man in flowing robes prophesizes Jayanti to be the “Chosen One,” her life is forever entwined with the charismatic guru Sri Chinmoy, who declares himself a living god. A god who performs sit-ups and push-ups in front of thousands as holy ritual, protects himself with a platoon of bodyguards, and bans books, TV, and sex. Jayanti’s unusual and increasingly bizarre childhood is spent shuttling between the ashram in Queens, New York, and her family’s outpost as “Connecticut missionaries.” On the path to enlightenment decreed by Guru, Jayanti scrubs animal cages in his illegal basement zoo, cheerleads as he weight lifts an elephant in her front yard, and trails him around the world as he pursues celebrities such as Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. But, when her need for enlightenment is derailed by her need for boys, Jayanti risks losing everything that she has ever known, including the person that she was ordained to be. With tenderness, insight, and humor, Jayanti explores the triumphs and trauma of an insider who longs to be an outsider, her hard-won decision to finally break free, and the unique challenges she confronts as she builds a new life. From the Hardcover edition.

The Speckled People


Author: Hugo Hamilton
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408171201
Category: Drama
Page: 96
View: 4673
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Adapted for the stage from the best-selling memoir, The Speckled People tells a profoundly moving story of a young boy trapped in a language war. Set in 1950s Ireland, this is a gripping, poignant, and at times very funny family drama of homesickness, control and identity. As a young boy, Hugo Hamilton struggles with what it means to be speckled, "half and half... Irish on top and German below." An idealistic Irish father enforces his cultural crusade by forbidding his son to speak English while his German mother tries to rescue him with her warm-hearted humour and uplifting industry. The boy must free himself from his father and from bullies on the street who persecute him with taunts of Nazism. Above all he must free himself from history and from the terrible secrets of his mother and father before he can find a place where he belongs. Surrounded by fear, guilt, and frequently comic cultural entanglements, Hugo tries to understand the differences between Irish history and German history and to turn the strange logic of what he is told into truth. It is a journey that ends in liberation but not before the long-buried secrets at the back of the parents' wardrobe have been laid bare.

Borrowed Finery

A Memoir
Author: Paula Fox
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1466850140
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 224
View: 2671
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An exotic, heartbreaking memoir that should finally earn Paula Fox, a distinguished novelist and children's book writer, the audience she has for decades deserved Paula Fox has long been acclaimed as one of America's most brilliant fiction writers. Borrowed Finery, her first book in nearly a decade, is an astonishing memoir of her highly unusual beginnings. Born in the twenties to nomadic, bohemian parents, Fox is left at birth in a Manhattan orphanage, then cared for by a poor yet cultivated minister in upstate New York. Her parents, however, soon resurface. Her handsome father is a hard-drinking screenwriter who is, for young Paula, "part ally, part betrayer." Her mother is given to icy bursts of temper that punctuate a deep indifference. How, Fox wonder, is this woman "enough of an organic being to have carried me in her belly"? Never sharing more than a few moments with his daughter, Fox's father allows her to be shunted from New York City, where she lives with her passive Spanish grandmother, to Cuba, where she roams freely on a relative's sugar-cane plantation, to California, where she finds herself cast upon Hollywood's grubby margins. The thread binding these wanderings is the "borrowed finery" of the title-a few pieces of clothing, almost always lent by kind-hearted strangers, that offer Fox a rare glimpse of permanency. Vivid and poetic, Borrowed Finery is an unforgettable book which will swell the legions of Paula Fox's devoted admiriers.

The Violets Are Mine

Tales Of An Unwanted Orphan
Author: Lester Morris
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
ISBN: 1465369279
Category: Family & Relationships
Page: 307
View: 5910
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The Violets Are Mine Previous Title – “The Green Penny-Farthing Bike” What others are saying about “The Violets Are Mine” “ The saga of an English boy begins with a child who is beaten by caretakers who ran the orphanages during the 30’s and 40’s in England. You will laugh and you will cry, but you will be captivated with the book and will not be able to put it down. It speaks to growing up without a home and the love of a family. It is written as Lester speaks, and does what many an author cannot do, it speaks from the heart. This is a success story about the trials of Lester, about the penny-farthing bike experience and the fun of a child, about life—but something more than that! A lot of things happen to successful people; but it just doesn’t happen by chance to Lester. He tells it as he sees it, and his success comes from his love of life, his wife Val, and the many people who come into contact with Lester—a truly unforgettable character. Read the book – you will be a better person for it!” – Pat Tucker “Lester paints scenes that come alive in amazing detail. I love the misadventures and the humor.” Cindy Jones “The Violets Are Mine is reminiscent of Charles Dickens or “Angela’s Ashes” but he added a twist – a much needed sense of humor.” Denniger Bolton

This Boy

A Memoir of a Childhood
Author: Alan Johnson
Publisher: Corgi
ISBN: 9780552167017
Category: Politicians
Page: 296
View: 3011
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The extraordinary 1950s London childhood of one of Britain's best-loved politicians. Alan Johnson's childhood was not so much difficult as unusual, particularly for a man who was destined to become Home Secretary. Not in respect of the poverty, which was shared with many of those living in the slums of post-war Britain, but in its transition from two-parent family to single mother and then to no parents at all. This is essentially the story of two incredible women: Alan's mother, Lily, who battled against poor health, poverty, domestic violence and loneliness to try to ensure a better life for her children; and his sister, Linda, who had to assume an enormous amount of responsibility at a very young age and who fought to keep the family together and out of care when she herself was still only a child. Played out against the background of a vanishing community living in condemned housing, the story moves from post-war austerity in pre-gentrified Notting Hill, through the race riots, school on the Kings Road, Chelsea in the Swinging 60s, to the rock-and-roll years, making a record in Denmark Street and becoming a husband and father whilst still in his teens. This Boy is one man's story, but it is also a story of England and the West London slums which are so hard to imagine in the capital today. No matter how harsh the details, Alan Johnson writes with a spirit of generous acceptance, of humour and openness which makes his book anything but a grim catalogue of miseries.

Angela's Ashes

A Memoir
Author: Frank McCourt
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 068484267X
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 363
View: 3254
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The author recounts his childhood in Depression-era Brooklyn as the child of Irish immigrants who decide to return to worse poverty in Ireland when his infant sister dies

Running with Scissors

A Memoir
Author: Augusten Burroughs
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781429902526
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 288
View: 1385
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Now including an excerpt from Lust & Wonder, a new memoir coming in March 2016. Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead-ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain. Suddenly, at age twelve, Augusten Burroughs found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian in perfect squalor. The doctor's bizarre family, a few patients, and a pedophile living in the backyard shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rules, there was no school. The Christmas tree stayed up until summer, and Valium was eaten like Pez. And when things got dull, there was always the vintage electroshock therapy machine under the stairs.... Running with Scissors is at turns foul and harrowing, compelling and maniacally funny. But above all, it chronicles an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.

The Prince of los Cocuyos

A Miami Childhood
Author: Richard Blanco
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062313789
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 272
View: 4615
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A poignant, hilarious, and inspiring memoir from the first Latino and openly gay inaugural poet, which explores his coming-of-age as the child of Cuban immigrants and his attempts to understand his place in America while grappling with his burgeoning artistic and sexual identities. Richard Blanco’s childhood and adolescence were experienced between two imaginary worlds: his parents’ nostalgic world of 1950s Cuba and his imagined America, the country he saw on reruns of The Brady Bunch and Leave it to Beaver—an “exotic” life he yearned for as much as he yearned to see “la patria.” Navigating these worlds eventually led Blanco to question his cultural identity through words; in turn, his vision as a writer—as an artist—prompted the courage to accept himself as a gay man. In this moving, contemplative memoir, the 2013 inaugural poet traces his poignant, often hilarious, and quintessentially American coming-of-age and the people who influenced him. A prismatic and lyrical narrative rich with the colors, sounds, smells, and textures of Miami, Richard Blanco’s personal narrative is a resonant account of how he discovered his authentic self and ultimately, a deeper understanding of what it means to be American. His is a singular yet universal story that beautifully illuminates the experience of “becoming;” how we are shaped by experiences, memories, and our complex stories: the humor, love, yearning, and tenderness that define a life.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

A Memoir
Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780767926317
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 224
View: 2842
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From one of the world's most beloved writers and New York Times bestselling author of One Summer, a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hilarious memoir of growing up in the 1950s Bill Bryson was born in the middle of the American century—1951—in the middle of the United States—Des Moines, Iowa—in the middle of the largest generation in American history—the baby boomers. As one of the best and funniest writers alive, he is perfectly positioned to mine his memories of a totally all-American childhood for 24-carat memoir gold. Like millions of his generational peers, Bill Bryson grew up with a rich fantasy life as a superhero. In his case, he ran around his house and neighborhood with an old football jersey with a thunderbolt on it and a towel about his neck that served as his cape, leaping tall buildings in a single bound and vanquishing awful evildoers (and morons)—in his head—as "The Thunderbolt Kid." Using this persona as a springboard, Bill Bryson re-creates the life of his family and his native city in the 1950s in all its transcendent normality—a life at once completely familiar to us all and as far away and unreachable as another galaxy. It was, he reminds us, a happy time, when automobiles and televisions and appliances (not to mention nuclear weapons) grew larger and more numerous with each passing year, and DDT, cigarettes, and the fallout from atmospheric testing were considered harmless or even good for you. He brings us into the life of his loving but eccentric family, including affectionate portraits of his father, a gifted sportswriter for the local paper and dedicated practitioner of isometric exercises, and OF his mother, whose job as the home furnishing editor for the same paper left her little time for practicing the domestic arts at home. The many readers of Bill Bryson’s earlier classic, A Walk in the Woods, will greet the reappearance in these pages of the immortal Stephen Katz, seen hijacking literally boxcar loads of beer. He is joined in the Bryson gallery of immortal characters by the demonically clever Willoughby brothers, who apply their scientific skills and can-do attitude to gleefully destructive ends. Warm and laugh-out-loud funny, and full of his inimitable, pitch-perfect observations, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is as wondrous a book as Bill Bryson has ever written. It will enchant anyone who has ever been young.

A Tuscan Childhood


Author: Kinta Beevor
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 1780228651
Category: History
Page: 272
View: 8057
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'Wonderful ... I fell immediately into her world' Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun Kinta Beevor was five years old when she fell in love with her parents' castle facing the Carrara mountains. She and her brother ran barefoot, exploring an enchanted world. They searched for wild mushrooms in the hills with Fiore the stonemason, and learned how to tickle trout. The freedom and beauty of life at the castle attracted poets, writers and painters, including D.H. Lawrence and Rex Whistler. The other side to Kinta's childhood was very different, for it was spent with her formidable great aunt, Janet Ross, in a grand villa outside Florence. But soon the old way of life and Kinta's idyllic world were threatened by war. Nostalgic, yet unsentimental and funny, A TUSCAN CHILDHOOD is a book which transports the reader to bohemian, aristocratic Italy and the sound of bells from a distant campanile.

Le Colonial

A Novel
Author: Kien Nguyen
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316028703
Category: Fiction
Page: 336
View: 6635
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A "richly satisfying" ("Newsday") epic of Asian history in the tradition of James Clavell, from the bestselling author of "The Tapestries."

Born a Crime

Stories from a South African Childhood
Author: Trevor Noah
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 0399588183
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 304
View: 795
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • Newsday • Esquire • NPR • Booklist Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love. Praise for Born a Crime “[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “[An] unforgettable memoir.”—Parade “What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”—USA Today “[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People “[Noah’s] electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories . . . and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class.”—Booklist (starred review) “A gritty memoir . . . studded with insight and provocative social criticism . . . with flashes of brilliant storytelling and acute observations.”—Kirkus Reviews

Nobody's Child

The stirring true story of an unwanted boy who found hope
Author: John Robinson
Publisher: Monarch Books
ISBN: 0857213105
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 160
View: 1510
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John Robinson had the worst possible start in life, taken into care at only four months, John was left in abusive foster homes for most of his childhood. Yet today he has found hope and is working in Manchester with the Eden Bus Ministry with children who are as deprived and unloved as he was.

They Left Us Everything

A Memoir
Author: Plum Johnson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0399184112
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 288
View: 3590
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A warm, heartfelt memoir of family, loss, and a house jam-packed with decades of goods and memories. After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents—first for their senile father, and then for their cantankerous ninety-three-year old mother—author Plum Johnson and her three younger brothers have finally fallen to their middle-aged knees with conflicted feelings of grief and relief. Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home, twenty-three rooms bulging with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks. Plum thought: How tough will that be? I know how to buy garbage bags. But the task turns out to be much harder and more rewarding than she ever imagined. Items from childhood trigger difficult memories of her eccentric family growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, but unearthing new facts about her parents helps her reconcile those relationships, with a more accepting perspective about who they were and what they valued. They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past, and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future. From the Hardcover edition.

Thrown Away Child


Author: Louise Allen
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1471166759
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 304
View: 8151
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Thrown Away Child is a memoir covering Louise Allen’s abusive childhood in a foster home, how she survived - using her love of art as a sanctuary - and how she hopes to right old wrongs now by fostering children herself and campaigning for the improvement of foster care services. It is a compelling and inspirational story. This book gives a voice to the many children who grew up unhappily in care.