Indochina’s Refugees

Oral Histories from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam


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About the Book

This poignant collection of oral histories tells the stories of nine Laotians, four Cambodians and nine Vietnamese: what their lives were like before 1975, what happened after the Communist takeover that made them decide to flee their native countries, and how they escaped.
The storytellers (housewife, Amerasian child, schoolteacher, government clerk, military officer, security agent, Buddhist monk, artist) create a broad and moving picture of the new realities of contemporary Indochina.

About the Author(s)

A Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, Joanna Catherine Scott is also a novelist and a prizewinning poet. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Joanna Catherine Scott
Format: softcover (5.5 x 8.5)
Pages: 326
Bibliographic Info: 24 photos, 3 maps, appendices, indexes
Copyright Date: 2011 [1989]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6740-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8764-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface      xi

Vietnam-Land of the Boat People

In Favor of Freedom

Nguyen van Lau       3

Saved by the Esso Company

Reverence Tam Minh      9

My Father Called Me Freddy

Freddy Nguyen      21

The Hope of Ho Chi Minh Is Fallen Now

Mr. Le      35

Finally It Was All a Lie

Name withheld      43

They Came to Rob and Kill

Thich nu grac Huong      51

Americans Missing in Action

Mr. Champamay      61

Even the Lampposts Nguyen Thi Yen Nga It Is Lost, My Country

Tran van Xinh      97

Cambodia-Land of the Killing Fields

All the People of Khmer Were Very Troubled

Ven Yem      109

My Mother, My Sister

The Story of Samol Him      115

They Liked Only the Stupid People

Him Mao      121

The Snake Who Became a Refugee

Told by Lucy      129

These Vietnamese Are No Better Than Pol Pot

Heng Houn      133

The Eyes That Watched Me

Adeach Pok      147

Weep for My Children

Told by Nina      153

Laos -Land of the Seminar Camps

Not So Wonderful Was That Time

Khamsamong Somvong      161

Their Words Hide All That Is Bad

Soukan Vignauong      175

For Ten Years He Had Me

Bounsy and Samly Khamphouy      191

Hidden to the People of the World

Khoun Phauorabouth      201

Keep Them Until They Die

Boukeo Bounnam      207

The News Collector

Name withheld      217

Nobody Can Speak Against Them

Saeng Praseuth and Sisouphanh Ravisong      229

The Jail of Keng Kanh

Vanhthong Mountry      239

The Hell of Kaisone

Name withheld      247


Indochina      263

Viengxay Area Seminar Camps      264

Sketch showing location of Keng Kanh jail      265

Location of Sepone area helicopter wreck (Laos)      266

Appendix: Viengxay Area Seminarists

Camp 03      269

Camp 04      274

Camp 05      286

Camp 06      296

Index      307

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended for most libraries”—Library Journal; “a perspective which is totally new…informative…original historical research”—VOYA.