Saigon to San Diego

Memoir of a Boy Who Escaped from Communist Vietnam


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About the Book

“When I was 12, I didn’t think I would get past ninth grade. When I was 14, I didn’t think I would live to my twentieth birthday. For me to be here today is a dream beyond my comprehension.”
Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War’s aftermath, this memoir tells the story of Trinh Do, a boy fighting for survival in newly unified communist Vietnam. Trinh Do was born in Saigon in 1964. His father, a soldier in the South Vietnam Army, was taken to a re-education camp after the communist victory in 1975. His family was thrown out of their home, and Do took care of his mother and younger brothers. He struggled to stay in school; because of his father, Do faced constant prejudice from the communist administration. He was expelled for refusing to betray his classmates in 1978; soon after, his mother arranged for him to escape Vietnam in a fishing boat. After a perilous journey, he landed in Malaysia, where he spent six months in a refugee camp, and then made his way to the United States. His parents attempted a similar escape four years later and were lost to the South China Sea.
This memoir tells the story of Do’s generation coming of age in a brutal period of Vietnam’s history and is illustrated with family photographs. Framed within a complex historical setting, it reveals the cruelty inflicted upon the populace by the Vietnamese communists for the purpose of “internal security.” An intimate portrait of daily life under communist rule and an examination of the political and military situation, Do’s memoir describes the propaganda and repression through the words of a Vietnamese schoolboy.

About the Author(s)

Now living in Fremont, California, Trinh Do works in the internet domain industry.

Bibliographic Details

Trinh Do
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: photos, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1805-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-2707-9
Imprint: McFarland