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4.5 of 5
2 ratings
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list price: $16.95
edition:Paperback
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2012
ISBN:9780988104822

Bidong

by Paul Duong

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4.5 of 5
2 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $16.95
edition:Paperback
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2012
ISBN:9780988104822
Description

Two brothers leave Vietnam in search of a better life. Together they brave the unforgiving sea and endure a refugee camp before finally landing in a place where they can start a new life. Their bond, strong during the hardship of the journey, is torn apart by the values and culture of western society. One clings to the traditional values and ideas of his homeland, while struggling in a world that is not his own. The other eagerly embraces his new land until forced to answer the ultimate question - who am I?

Contributor Notes

Paul Phong Duong was born and raised in a little farming village south of Saigon. At the age of ten he left his native land in search of a better future. Just like the two brothers in his novel, he endured many hardships before reaching Canada.

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A forked path for two immigrants

Immigrating to another country is never easy, and it's harder when you don't speak the language or you come from one as different culturally as Vietnam. That's what Tan and Manh discover, two brothers who find themselves awaiting relocation in 1989 on the small Malaysian island of Pulau Bidong. It's a dangerous place for the two young people but older brother Tan does his best to protect his younger brother. Eventually they come to Canada after Manh convinces Immigration to let them in. As he's already learned English, mainstreaming into Canadian society after resettling in Alberta comes easier for him.

It tears the brothers apart, though, as Tan comes to regret leaving Vietnam and his family while Manh successfully integrates and shows a promising career as a journalist. Still, their love for each other prevents them from pulling completely apart, even as Manh's star rises and Tan's descends into substance abuse.

Duong skillfully weaves a tale of strength and resilience, a reminder that no matter what obstacles or dangers we encounter in life, we are made of stronger stuff than we know. It's also a reminder of how difficult integration into Canadian society can be for those who either can't or don't know how to ask for help.

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