Birds of Paradise Lost

Birds of Paradise Lost Finalist for the California Book Award The thirteen stories in Birds of Paradise Lost shimmer with humor and pathos as they chronicle the anguish and joy and bravery of America s newest Americans the

  • Title: Birds of Paradise Lost
  • Author: Andrew Lam
  • ISBN: 9781597092685
  • Page: 344
  • Format: Paperback
  • Finalist for the California Book Award The thirteen stories in Birds of Paradise Lost shimmer with humor and pathos as they chronicle the anguish and joy and bravery of America s newest Americans, the troubled lives of those who fled Vietnam and remade themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area The past memories of war and its aftermath, of murder, arrest, re education ca Finalist for the California Book Award The thirteen stories in Birds of Paradise Lost shimmer with humor and pathos as they chronicle the anguish and joy and bravery of America s newest Americans, the troubled lives of those who fled Vietnam and remade themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area The past memories of war and its aftermath, of murder, arrest, re education camps and new economic zones, of escape and shipwreck and atrocity is ever present in these wise and compassionate stories It plays itself out in surprising ways in the lives of people who thought they had moved beyond the nightmares of war and exodus It comes back on TV in the form of a confession from a cannibal it enters the Vietnamese restaurant as a Vietnam Vet with a shameful secret it articulates itself in the peculiar tics of a man with Tourette s Syndrome who struggles to deal with a profound tragedy Birds of Paradise Lost is an emotional tour de force, intricately rendering the false starts and revelations in the struggle for integration, and in so doing, the human heart.

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      Published :2018-05-13T17:25:52+00:00

    One thought on “Birds of Paradise Lost”

    1. Nina SankovitchAuthor and reviewer Immigration Stories: Andrew Lam's Birds of Paradise LostAndrew Lam's Birds of Paradise Lost captures the universal immigrant experience -- where versions of paradise are both lost and gained -- through the very particular experience of the refugees who fled Vietnam during the Fall of Saigon in 1975. Lam grew up in the American Vietnamese community of San Francisco and the experiences he heard about as a child (and some which he lived through himself) are the so [...]

    2. A collection of short stories, each beautiful on their own, come together to form a wonderfully sad, funny, and insightful look at a generation of people displaced from their homeland. The "conflict of Vietnam" is a confusing part of US history (and understatement indeed). These stories shed some light on what happened there, but more importantly portrays the people involved and affected with compassion, honesty, and love.I bet my friend Lauren will enjoy this, but I'm not sure about her husband [...]

    3. Raised in the Bay Area by Vietnamese immigrants, I found the book inspiring. My parent's generation is not the sharing type, and these short stories that are filled with complex, relatable, identifiable characters, perhaps give a little insight to the adversities they faced to escape their home country. These stories are full of pain, joy, hope, fear, and longing.

    4. Andrew Lam, one of my favorite writers, has often demonstrated his journalist's ability to see the broad themes in the most particular of situations. He is one of the few writers I've read who can articulate the spaces that straddle cultures of all kinds, firmly planted in multiple and conflicting perspectives. This time, he turns to fiction, where he is able to create the people and worlds instead of reporting them to us.I have said before that in a very small way, I relate to Mr. Lam's writing [...]

    5. I had the amazing good fortune of meeting and talking with the author this spring and he characterized his work as psychological rather than political and this is such an insightful comment that opens up these gems of stories. The collection works together very well and the final story, among my favorites, brings a number of strands introduced throughout the stories to culminate in a fleeting sense of closure. These are beautiful, funny and gritty stories. He doesn't shy away from less pleasant [...]

    6. Amidst stacks of hardcovers and paperbacks for the taking, karma steered me toward this secondhand book at WUNC's Fall Fund Drive. As one who typically veers from short stories, I couldn't pass on a book already conveniently personalized to "me," For Katie and the transformative powers of the story - Andrew.I suspect he intended Katie Davis of All Things Considered, where I imagine she and Andrew Lam met. I only hope she made the time to read through Lam's first published collection. Set in the [...]

    7. This book was HILARIOUS, beautiful, poignant, and so sad it had me crying in class on multiple occasions. It has an epigraph, "Anything is bearable as long as you can make a story out of it." This is a sentiment I absolutely agree with, and it has often kept me going in really shitty, awful situations, so Andrew Lam had me at "hello" with this book.I got to see him talk at a reading/ Q&A session at my university, which was really neat. That one person can create so many stories, each one so [...]

    8. This was a win. I seldom read short stories but found these 13 interesting. They all deal with Vietnamese folks who were refuges and most now residing in San Francisco. It recalls personal memories of the war and the horrendous trip traveling by boat to get to the U.S. Some stories brought out laughter while others brought sadness. Andrew Lam is a gifted author.

    9. "The stories that focus on immigrants themselves are alternately tragic and humorous. While our sympathies remain with the victims, Lam’s events and characters twist, often uncomfortably so." - Richard Henry, SUNY PotsdamThis book was reviewed in the July 2013 issue of World Literature Today. Read the full review by visiting our website: bit/19N7Lxh

    10. Lam is gifted in his ability to recount and capture the emotionally weighted experiences of the Vietnamese people living in America after the war. He tells powerful and compelling tales that draw you in and stay with you long after. He uses humor to both relate to the reader but also express the irony of the tragic events. His characters are uplifting and tragic all at once. Excellent book!!

    11. This book was, in a word, amazing! made me sad-cry made me happy-cry. Read it out loud to my boyfriend. He cried too.

    12. Given to me by a friend, I thank her for this GOOD read hehe. The stories were beautifully written. All compelling in their own.

    13. I almost stopped reading this book after the first story as it put me out of my comfort zone but I am so glad that I ventured on. The stories in this book are moving, some deeply moving & I found all to be interesting. If I had been the writer or editor, I would have placed "Love Leather" somewhere in the middle of the book or at least not let it be the first one, but perhaps it is placed there to put the readers out of their comfort zone so they might feel how an immigrant must feel coming [...]

    14. Increíble. Cada uno de los cuentos. Historias conmovedoras, divertidas, trágicas. Una ventana a la pérdida de la patria, y a la creación de una nueva identidad, a la resiliencia humana y el impacto emocional del exilio. También aprendí un poco más de la cultura vietnamita y los tiempos de la guerra. Altamente recomendable.

    15. Spectacular. The agony and angst is palpable in all of his stories. I am amazed by how Lam makes seemingly mundane events so original and resonating. Not only are his stories intricate, delicate, and heart wrenching, but his storytelling is divine. If I ever want to write fiction, this is exactly how I would want to write. Raw. Emotional. Deep.I actually received this book from the author himself when he came to visit my school. It was a pleasure to meet Andrew Lam; he touched all of our hearts [...]

    16. A collection of thirteen short stories. Each is essentially a character sketch, flushing out the struggles, trials, and tribulations of the Vietnamese in America, each illuminating a different sort of person with a distinctive perspective, but all troubled or incomplete in some way because of the War’s impact on that nation and the ongoing process of socialization into the Vietnamese-American experience.Some of these are very touching, others are rather predictable, and too often ending with a [...]

    17. Snapshots of early Vietnamese-American circumstances, Birds of Paradise Lost paints a kaleidoscopic picture of humor, belonging, strength, and sacrifice. The short stories in this collection by Andrew Lam are enjoyable to read in short bursts and provides a view of subject matter largely forgotten by those from the country these immigrants now call home.If your desire is learning facts, there are probably better choices. If you hunger for a handful of human stories about the Vietnamese Boat Peop [...]

    18. As he did with his first book, Andrew Lam once again effectively pierces through the darkness of my childhood, giving me safe space to roll the past over and under my tongue, inhale both the rot and the fragrance of Vietnam. He speaks the words that are buried too deeply under the reality of my technology-driven, first world life.

    19. well written with the theme being Vietnamese refugees/immigrants. there was a preachy tone and message that seemed to reflect some struggle to reconcile or too accept being in such a status. I also think the use of a twist at the end in several stories got to be too much of a predictable pattern.

    20. SFPL On the Same Page book. Decent writing, but it doesn't add anything new to the vast corpus of American immigrant fiction.

    21. A collection of short stories that mostly take place in San Francisco, and primarily deal with the Vietnamese immigrant experience. Often funny, thoughtful, and as ever, empathy-inducing.

    22. “But everyone’s ruled by some kind of desire.”*Andrew Lam’s stories center around Vietnamese immigrants in the Bay Area — sad stories of suffering, cultural conflict, and small moments of connection.

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