Diana's Reviews > Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam

Catfish and Mandala by Andrew X. Pham
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's review
Feb 27, 11

Read in January, 2011

As a first generation Vietnamese-American, I found this book enlightening. However, it was only after page 117 that I became engrossed.
Pham depicts very accurately on how life in America for Vietnamese-Americans is truly like--the struggles between ethnic warfare of inner city youth, poverty,
beaten to the point of numbness, juggling between Vietnamese and American cultures, being a "Viet-Kieu" and the role our identities are played in the US and VN, etc.

I gained a lot of insight from reading Pham's memoir. I saw a lot of similarities both the author and I experienced while visiting the motherland. I learned that I wasn't the only Vietnamese-American who had these inner thoughts and experiences and all in all, our commonalities in America are pretty aligned--it's just that with our passive-aggressiveness culture (Vietnamese) it is rarely talked/shared.


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