The Refugees study guide contains a biography of Viet Thanh Nguyen, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Usually the identity of organ donors is kept secret, but the hospital's computer system was hacked and Arthur receives mail that informs him of his donor's identity. The men decide to visit Thomas' ex-wife, Sam, but are surprised themselves to find out that she is pregnant. When he returned, he then attempted to rebuild his life, just like many of the characters in the other short stories. The collection consists of eight stories. Like the story of the ghostwriter, there is an element of silence and unspoken tragedy, as many of Nguyen’s refugees deal with their trauma and its aftermath with silence. Most of the characters in Nguyen's stories fled the communist regime in Vietnam or are the children of parents who did. In the moment, the narrator's parents refuse to pay, but Mrs. Hoa's appearance sparks fierce debate in their household over whether or not they should give—and if so, how much. Communism is a recurring theme in Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Refugees. An editor It is what you have … Even though he loves his family, Liem feels removed from their world and doesn't recognize himself in the mirror. 813/.6. Unlock with LitCharts A+ The Refugees Summary In "Black-Eyed Women," a ghostwriter sees her deceased brother's ghost. Intimate conversations like this lead the men to have an affair. America has changed him. When she tells her mother about the experience, her mother purchases new clothes for her son and asks her daughter to give them to him the next time that he visits her. Arthur is furious and confronts Louis who admits that he took advantage of having the same last name as Arthur's liver donor. This mistake must not be repeated." The Refugees - The Americans Summary & Analysis Viet Thanh Nguyen This Study Guide consists of approximately 79 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Refugees. In the first short story, the narrator—a ghostwriter specializing in so-called "memoirs" for survivors of tragedies such as airplane crashes and kidnappings—sees the ghost of her long-dead brother. In this story, Nguyen introduces a different kind of refugee—a refugee within one’s own country. Thomas moves in with his father in Echo Park, central Los Angeles, after his mother passes away. What is the shocking news brought by Professor Mosin in The Refugees. These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. Arthur is stuck between a rock and a hard place and decides that the counterfeit products can stay where they are, Mr and Mrs Khanh live in Westminster, California. Carver does not like Vietnam primarily because he was a pilot during the war. Carver and his wife Michiko are visiting their daughter Claire and her boyfriend Legaspi, in Quang Tri, Vietnam. In "Black-Eyed Women," a ghostwriter sees her deceased brother's ghost. She tells them about a trip she took to Vietnam in the summer; she encourages them to travel but Thomas' father tells her this kind of traveling would be bad for him. The Refugees - The Other Man Summary & Analysis Viet Thanh Nguyen This Study Guide consists of approximately 79 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Refugees. They disagree fundamentally about Vietnam and the way in which they have contributed to it. She retires so that they can spend more time together as she realizes he needs more help than she had at first taken into account. Her son wants her to retire so that she can spend more time trying to stimulate her husband's memories, and she seriously considers doing so especially when her husband's condition worsens, he cannot remember how to do the most basic of things, and he continues to address her as Yen. Carver observes that everything Legaspi is creating could be weaponized, which of course leads to a huge fight with his daughter. eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. How does The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen relate to immigration? Following the fall of Saigon, Liem had escaped by clawing his way onto a refugee boat which had then come to the United States. Fearing that the narrator would be raped, her brother bound her breasts and gave her his shirt so that she would look like a boy. Liem is unfamiliar with homosexuality and feels uncomfortable living in their home, so much so that he almost contacts the refugee service to request relocation. He takes both daughters on a tour of the Cu Chi tunnels and gives a guided tour as if they are tourists. In his first short story collection, writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for his novel The Sympathizer, takes a look at how it feels and what it means to be a refugee. Nguyen does not comment much at this moment about the undocumented workers at Arellano and Sons, but one can draw a connection between the immigrants and the refugees of this story. Parrish's boyfriend, a twenty-something student named Marcus, lives with them like a kept man. In "The Transplant," Arthur attempts to contact the family of the man whose liver he received in a transplant. Talking to him and writing his story inspires the woman to write her own ghost book. Vivien is alarmed that he seems to sympathize with the communists. Whilst she is writing Victor's story, the ghostwriter, who is never named, is living with her mother, and listens to her mother's ghost stories that are generally about people whom she has known in her life. Viet Thanh Nguyen. Inside the house they notice an army uniform, which Mrs Hoa tells them was worn by her husband who was killed in the war, along with a son. The Refugees - Fatherland Summary & Analysis Viet Thanh Nguyen This Study Guide consists of approximately 79 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Refugees. This forces her to confront her survivor's guilt. 224. She tells Phuong that she does not feel much of a bond with their father. When he calls Minh back Arthur learns that Minh is the son of Men Vu, not Louis. Whilst she is writing the ghost of her brother visits her briefly. However her plan backfires when he not only continues to call her Yen but begins to act violently towards her. will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback. Log in here. Mr. Ly was forced to leave his home and he lost everything as a result. The protagonist of the story is a boy who is not given a name. The Refugees Summary. Written by Polly Barbour. Legaspi is a robotics specialist and takes Claire and her parents to see where he works. He spends most of his time studying. The next day Phuong tells Vivien that she aspires to be like her but Vivien admits that everything she has told the family about herself has been a lie. As a librarian, she has a great love of books, and she and her husband begin to re-arrange their own collection of books together. Perhaps meeting her sister with the same name would be that reason. By coincidence, Victor also believes in ghosts, and this becomes a subject upon which they can compare notes. Viet Thanh Nguyen serves as editor for a short but impactful collection of essays about refugees and the refugee experience. Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee (IRC). His characters are for the most part Vietnamese immigrants, and many of them have fled Vietnam in order to escape the Communist regime. The money she has been flashing was the last of her severance pay. The story that is most often re-told is that of the ghostwriter's older brother, who died a number of years ago. He spends most of his time going to a summer school for enrichment, but when he is not at school he works in the convenience store that his parents own in San Jose, California, embedded in the Vietnamese section of the city. We are thankful for their contributions and encourage you to make your own. Viet Thanh Nguyen 404D Taper Hall Department of English University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354 Email. Nguyen's next fiction book, The Refugees, is a collection of perfectly formed stories written over a period of twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family. From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2016 'A powerful antidote to all the fearmongering and lies out there . Liem falls in love with Marcus and tells him so but Marcus dislikes semantics. The boy's mother refuses to pay up because she thinks the moment has passed and that it is too late to prevent communism taking hold. It is not what you have written down. Nguyen was born in Ban Me Thuot, Vietnam in 1971, the son of refugees from North Vietnam who moved south in 1954. Yet it seems as though Nguyen is in some ways inherently criticizing Carver, because far more Vietnamese lives were at stake in the war than American lives, and so again Carver seems unaware of the culture he truly fought to protect. Marcus and Parrish share a home in the Mission District of the city. He is instead duped by a conman. That same weekend, Liem receives a letter from his father, who is afraid of the Communist regime in Vietnam and cannot speak freely in his letter for fear of being targeted by soldiers. They feel terrible and offer two hundred dollars to the fund. Not affiliated with Harvard College. When he eventually returns home, Norma tells him that a man named Minh Vu has been calling him. She is so frustrated by this that she writes in his journal "Today I called my wife by the name of Yen. Although she accedes to her mother's request, her brother refuses to take the clothes. Viet Thanh Nguyen 404D Taper Hall Department of English University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354 Email. Barbour, Polly. GradeSaver, 15 February 2019 Web. When he is working in the store one day, one of their neighbors, Mrs Hoa, calls, and demands that the family make a contribution to a fund for fighting communism in Vietnam. They learn that Mr Ly's daughter from his first marriage is coming to visit them from her home in Chicago. The plan was to stir the unhappy people against their Communistrulers, incite a revolution, and resurrect the Republic of the South.” Nguyen recalls, “A guerrilla army of former South Vietnamese soldiers was training in the jingles of Thailand, preparing to launch a counterattack in unified Vietnam. Word Count: 1589. On Sundays, he attends mass with his parents, devout Christians, and then works at New Saigon, the family-owned grocery store. You can help us out by revising, improving and updating After the fall of Saigon, in 1975, his family fled to the United States. By and large, the communist regime and the Viet Cong soldiers themselves are presented as enemies, and the titular refugees in this collection are fleeing from war, violence, and oppression. The Refugees is a 2017 short story collection by Viet Thanh Nguyen. There is an attempted robbery at the family's home, but the boy's mother has made significant security measures and so barely anything is taken. However, the disguise was created in extreme haste and was not particularly convincing. Liem, meanwhile, finds a terrible job as a janitor at a liquor store in order to send money back to his family in Vietnam. He was killed, we learn, when pirates raided the boat on which the narrator's family was fleeing to America. The Refugees study guide contains a biography of Viet Thanh Nguyen, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. The collection consists of eight stories. Literary, translation, and film rights are handled by Nat Sobel at … In The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen gives voice to lives led between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth. When he calls her by the wrong name, she fears that he is disappearing. Vivien spends a great deal of money whilst she is visiting them and explains her wealth by telling her father that she is a physician. How would you describe Liem from The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen? Aside from learning this about Vivien, the entire family finds out much about each other during this family vacation. this section. You'll get access to all of the In "I'd Love You to Want Me," Mrs. Khanh struggles to care for her Alzheimer's-afflicted husband. Arthur owes Louis; when he was dying from liver failure, Louis' father learned he was a match as a donor, and now that he has had a transplant he is healthy again. Thomas' father is furious and hurt for his son; as they leave he throws a rock through the windshield of her car. Louis Vu asks Arthur Arellano, a Mexican American, to store counterfeit goods for him behind his house in Orange County, California. Viet Thanh Nguyen This Study Guide consists of approximately 79 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Refugees. “It is not your memories which haunt you. The Refugees is a collection of short stories by Viet Thanh Nguyen about Vietnamese immigrants and their children, many of whom fled Vietnam after the communist regime took power. Each comes to the United States out of the necessity to make a better life. ©2020 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Thomas offers to pay for the damage but does not give his father up as the one who threw the rock at the car. How would you summarize “Black-Eyed Women” from The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen? When the boat was taken by pirates, her brother saved her life by disguising her as a boy so that she wouldn't be kidnapped. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this The Refugees study guide. The Refugees (2017) by Viet Thanh Nguyen is a collection of eight short stories that follow many Vietnamese refugees, most of them having fled from the Communist regime during the Vietnam war. "The Refugees Summary". Arthur orders him to take his fake goods back but Louis retaliates by threatening to tell the authorities that most of the men Arthur employs in his landscaping company are working illegally. We are thankful for their contributions and encourage you to make your own. Already a member? . Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. But whereas the unspoken past haunts the ghostwriter, the boy’s mother uses silence to allow her to move on from those events. Mrs. Hoa asked them for $500, but the narrator's mother doesn't want to give the full amount on principle. However, he comes to adjust to their lifestyle and becomes more comfortable. What an incredible, emotional and remarkable book! On the streets, at outdoor cafés, or hopping into a Mai Linh taxi, she was easily mistaken for a Korean businessman’s frazzled wife or a weary Japanese tourist, her frosting of makeup melting under the tropical glare. I read a lot about immigration. It is Nguyen's first published short story collection and his first book after winning the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer . Last Updated on January 12, 2017, by eNotes Editorial. Haunted by the death of her brother, the narrator writes ghost stories that defy the conventions of the genre (much like Nguyen's story does). The Refugees Summary. The men become friendly acquaintances, and Arthur stays with Louis when he has argued with his wife, Norma, which is often. In her defense, she says, it was her mother who told their father that she was a successful physician. He believes that love is expressed by actions, not by words. Ghosts, the narrator knows, don't always seek revenge for wrongs done to them in their lives. She was a receptionist, and she just got fired. . These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. Saigon, twenty-first century. The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen. In "War Years," the unnamed narrator reflects on his childhood. He has begun to call her Yen, which puzzles her. The Refugees by Nguyen, Viet Thanh A collection of stories, written over a twenty-year period, examines the Vietnamese experience in America as well as questions of home, family, and identity. I am a refugee, an American, and a human being, which is important to proclaim, as there are many who think these identities cannot be reconciled. Coyne's lover Marcus Chan is also with him. They get into a fight and then Thomas bends close to her belly Faand says "I could be the father" into it. Nguyen introduces the idea of the necessity of protecting one’s own culture and one’s own people over others. Claire believes that her soul is Vietnamese and this creates a great deal of conflict with her father. Nguyen’s next fiction book, The Refugees, is a collection of perfectly formed stories written over a period of twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family. The Refugees study guide contains a biography of Viet Thanh Nguyen, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. When one of the pirates paused to examine her closely, the narrator's brother stabbed the pirate but was then killed for his efforts to save his sister. After an annoyed Mrs Hoa has left, the boy's father observes that if they are seen as pro-communist within the community their business may suffer. However, a few days later Sam visits them regarding the damage. Victor believes ghosts have helped him overcome the losses in his life. Nguyen is … One of the pirates grew suspicious of "her" and began to pay too much attention, and so the ghostwriter's brother stabbed the pirate, who killed him. Parrish Coyne is sponsoring an eighteen year old Vietnamese refugee named Liem, and meets his plane at San Francisco airport. After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. Book Summary. In "The Transplant," Arthur attempts to contact the family of the man whose liver he received in a transplant. Victor hires a ghost-writer to pen his memoir. She is not really a doctor at all. Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Sympathizer was one of the most widely and highly praised novels of 2015. When the young narrator suggests that they should pay the full $500, his mother says, "Are you going to be the kind of person who always pays the asking price?" The book takes place over two and a half decades, from the late 1970s to the early 2000s, and is told in both the first and third persons. The Refugees, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s story collection following his Pulitzer-winning novel The Sympathizer, reminds us that “literature is news that stays news”, as Ezra Pound put it. Louis reluctantly takes Arthur's calls and eventually admits that the liver he has came from his father. The Question and Answer section for The Refugees is a great With the coruscating gaze that informed The Sympathizer, in The Refugees Viet Thanh Nguyen gives voice … LC Class. While Parrish is gone for the weekend in Washington, DC, Marcus takes Liem to a Cantonese restaurant in Chinatown, where Marcus talks about how he was outed to his strict, conservative father (an executive at a rubber company) when a vengeful ex sent his father photographs of Marcus in compromising positions. Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Refugees Holy moly! Thomas' father believes that Thomas is an emotional coward because his wife divorced him due to his ambivalence about starting a family. We’ve discounted annual subscriptions by 50% for our End-of-Year sale—Join Now! When Vivien has returned home to Chicago, she keeps in touch with her Vietnamese family, but Phuong burns her letters because she knows the truth about her and cannot bear to read her lies. Victor has a terrible case of survivor's remorse. Mr Khanh has just retired and is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. In certain indoor settings, however, she was clearly the mistress of her domain. 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