Uprooted from Home: Analyzing Vietnamese Amerasian Diaspora in the Unwanted

Kaori Mori Want


After the Vietnam War, approximately 100,000 mixed race children between Vietnamese women and American soldiers, who are called Amerasian, were born. The Vietnamese Communists fought against the US, and Amerasians who were part Americans became the enemy of the Vietnamese. Amerasians were raised fatherless in patriarchal society where the presence of the father was essential to one’s social status. They were taunted by their lack of the father. Vietnamese women who had children with Americans were regarded as prostitutes, and Amerasians were looked down by the Vietnamese as the children of prostitute. Many reasons combined, Amerasians were mistreated in post-Vietnam War society, and humiliated as “bui doi,” the dust of life.

This paper will explore Vietnamese Amerasians’ experiences of war, loss of home and father, diaspora, and trauma by reading Kien Nguyen’s autobiography. The home functions in the novel as the symbol of the family’s destiny. Nguyen’s trauma of postwar experiences was augmented every time he was uprooted from his home. By tracing the changes of Nguyen’s home, we will understand the transition of his life. The US was his last home after the diaspora from Vietnam, and I will examine if the US really healed his trauma of the war.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/sll.v2n1p14


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