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Books/Anthologies by Vietnamese, Transnational & Transracial Adoptees


ShrimpScreenplay by Dominic Golding
Currency Press Pty Ltd (June 1, 2007)

An autobiographical work based on Australian Vietnamese adoptee Dominic Golding who grew up in Mt Gambier in SA and now resides in Melbourne, VIC where he is finishing his MA in Theatre Arts at Monash University and is working on his new play ‘Umbilical’.

Heart of Stone

Heart of Stoneby Vietnamese adoptee Hoa Stone released 2007. This incredible biography gives an honest and brave account of life after the war. From Vietnam to the Australia, Stone’s life of hardship continues in the form of hardship with drugs and battling local prejudices against many of his identities (Asian, Vietnamese, classified as having a disability, orphan). From these struggles we also see much strength and will, humour and hindsight. The book is an absolute accomplishment.

For more info email:


Taking Time Off: Vietnam

Taking Time OffBook Chapter
by Tim Holtan
An American Vietnamese adoptee on his time volunteering in Vietnam. Chapter in:

Taking Time Off
By Colin Hall, Princeton Review, Ron Lieber, Princeton Review, Princeton Review (Firm)
Published by The Princeton Review, 2003
ISBN 0375763031, 9780375763038
288 pages

Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? (2009)

Pieces of

A resource for adopted teenagers edited by Dr Bert Ballard, a Vn adoptee and researcher and published by EMK Press, a leading publisher of resources and materials for adoption.

More about Bert Ballard:


The Colour of Difference

The Colour of DifferenceEdited by Sarah Armstrong and Petrina Slaytor – Federation Press, Australia 2001

The Colour of Difference is a collection of 27 stories by Australian transracial adoptees, including many adopted from Vietnam, providing important and critical insight into the experience of those being raised in families of a different ethnicity to themselves.

The collection will be of interest to adoptees, adoptive parents, those considering adoption, professionals and anyone interested in the intersections between family, identity and tensions surrounding multiculturalism in the 1970s – 1990s.

$29.95 ($33.95 inc p&p Australia)

Other People’s Children: Adoption in Australia.

Other Peoples ChildrenMelbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.
Edited by Spark, C and Cuthbert, D, 2009. Out now featuring Australian authors’ studies of adoption and its long term consequences.


Outsiders Within:  Racial Crossings and Adoption Politics

Outsiders WithinJane Jeong Trenka (Editor), Chinyere Oparah (Editor), and Sun Yung Shin (Editor) 2005
South end Press

Outsiders Within is a collection of works to highlight some of the identity politics unfolding within the adoptee community. For more information on other works by J Trenka visit here.

Outsiders Within includes ‘Beyond the Vietnam War Adoptions: Representing Our Transracial Lives’ by Indigo Williams Willing (Eds, Trenka, J. J.;Oparah, C. and Shin, S. Y.). Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2006. pp. 275 – 285.

Enquiries email

From Orphaned China Dolls to Long Distance Daughters

Defending Our Dreamsby Indigo Williams Willing

for anthology ‘Defending Our Dreams: Global Feminist Voices for a New Generation’, Edited by Wilson, S. and Sengupta, A., London: Zed Books. 2005. pp 95 – 109. To order visit:


Michigan Quarterly Review Special

Michigan Quarterly Review - Fall 2004 CoverViet Nam: Beyond the Frame
Fall Edition 2004

This book sized issue and the one that follows are devoted to the topic “Viet Nam: Beyond the Frame.” Guest-edited by Rebekah Linh Collins and Barbara Tran, these two oversize issues explore the culture of Viet Nam and the Vietnamese diaspora since the wars of the twentieth century. Essays both personal and scholarly, memoirs, fiction, poetry, book reviews, and graphic portfolios will provide the most comprehensive account of this subject in our time. Further commentary and a complete list of contents will be posted in this space later in the summer. *The Fall Edition includes 2 essays by Viet adoptees, Sibley Qu’y Th* Baigent & Indigo Williams Willing ‘From Fairytales to the Diaspora’.

2006 News – Copies of the publication abaove are currently ON SALE!

REDUCED FROM $9 PER VOLUME TO ONLY $6. To order visit:

or send a cheque to:

Michigan Quarterly Review
University of Michigan
3574 Rackham Bldg.
915 E. Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070.

Michigan Quarterly Review (MQR), founded in 1962, is the University of Michigan’s flagship journal, publishing each season a collection of essays, interviews, memoirs, fiction, poetry, and book reviews. MQR reflects the multidisciplinary nature of the University of Michigan, and publishes writings in a wide variety of research areas.

Journey of Youth: 2nd Generation and Adult Adoptees from Vietnam

Journey of YouthDirect from Canada, Adopted Vietnamese International (AVI) now has very limited stocks available of the book titled Journey of Youth. Each book is 256 pages and includes English, French and Vietnamese written submissions

Journey of Youth is a book containing writings for the generations living and growing up overseas and focuses on:


  • Life Journey – the road we have travelled
  • Vietnamese identity in mainstream western culture
  • Vietnamese adoptees in non-Asian families.

‘Journey of Youth’ Ngan Thong publication g’ features adopted Vietnamese (including AVI people Indigo Williams Willing and Anh Ðào Kolbe) interviews, photos, poetry and writings. For more info on how to buy a copy in Australia please contact AVI’s national public liaison manager: Analee Matthews at:

In Australia, these books are available for $35 AUD per copy, including shipping within Australia.

In Canada or Europe please contact: Duc Anh Thu Tran via e-mail: duc.anh.thu.tran@UMontreal.CA

In Canada, the books are $20 CAD per copy, including shipping within Canada. In Europe, the books are 18 EURO per copy with shipping included.


Books published by various Transnational or Transracial Adoptees

Mixing Cultural Identities Through Transracial Adoption: Outcomes of the Indian Adoption Project (1958-1967)

Mixing Cultural Identities Through Transracial Adoptionby Susan Harness Released 2009

Mellon Press Description:

This book examines the ethnic boundaries, social hierarchies within the ethnic boundaries and the accumulation, transaction and conversion of social and symbolic capital used to change group membership that allow or prohibit perceptions of belonging and not belonging for American Indian adoptees.

Fugitive Visions (2009)

Fugitive VisionsJane Jeong Trenka, Korean adoptee and author of The Language of Blood and co-editor of the seminal adoption research and politics of transracial adoption ‘Outsiders Within’ has now released Fugitive Visions. For more info visit

Graywolf Press publisher website


On The Other Side Of The Eye

On The Other Side Of The Eyeby Bryan Thao Worra, Laos adoptee

Available from your local bookstore by bringing them the following ISBN Numbers:
ISBN #1-933556-97-8
or ISBN 978-1-933556-97-0.


From Morning Calm to Midnight Sun

by Sunny Jo

An enormously moving autobiographical book by Korean adoptee Sunny Johnson titled FROM MORNING CALM TO MIDNIGHT SUN is out now – please email her for more details at:

The Unforgotten War

The Unforgotten War / Dust of the Streetsby Thomas Park Clement

Among the first group of Korean born adoptees, Park Clement or “Alien” as he is also known, came to the United States in 1958 facing a whole new set of challenges. These issues are presented in a subtle, gentle manner. Read more at:

Truepeny Publishing Company
1-877-805-3102 toll free
(or) 1-812-384-8518 fax

P. O. Box 350

Bloomfield, Indiana 47424 USA

$11.95 (US) plus shipping/handling per destination. (Indiana residents must include 5% sales tax.). The proceeds are going towards a KAD directory which will be published in 2005.


Anthologies by various transnational and transracial adoptees

Once They Hear My Name: Korean Adoptees and Their Journeys Toward Identity

Once They Hear My NameA testament to the more than 100,000 Korean adoptees who have come to the United States since the 1950s, this collection of oral histories features the stories of nine Korean Americans who were adopted as children and the struggles they’ve shared as foreigners in their native lands. From their early confrontations with racism and xenophobia to their later-in-life trips back to Korea to find their roots (with mixed results), these narratives illustrate the wide variety of ways in which all adoptive parents and adoptees—not just those from Korea—must struggle with issues of identity, alienation, and family.

Publisher: Tamarisk Books; 1 edition (September 1, 2008)

In search of belonging

In Search of BelongingEdited by Perlita Harris, transracially adopted adult
Published by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF)

The first UK anthology of writing and poetry by and for transracially adopted people. Personal stories, memoirs, reflections, poetry and artwork are invited from African, African-Caribbean, East Asian, Middle Eastern, South American, South Asian and South East Asian people (including those with one white birth parent and those born in other countries) who have been adopted by a white family in the UK (i.e. who have been transracially adopted).

For info please contact:
Tel: 0117 954 6726
Perlita Harris, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, 8 Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TZ, England.

Reviews welcome.


Non Adoptee Publications Include

The Life we were Given: Operation Babylift, International Adoption, and the Children of War in Vietnam

The Life We Were Givenby Dana Sachs

In April 1975, the U.S. government evacuated nearly three thousand displaced Vietnamese children just before the fall of Saigon. Chaotic from start to finish, Operation Babylift gripped the American public and was often presented as a great humanitarian effort. Now, thirty-five years after the war ended, Dana Sachs examines the rescue more carefully, revealing how a single public-policy gesture irrevocably altered thousands of lives, not always for the better.

With sensitivity and balance, Sachs presents multiple perspectives: foreign adoption volunteers trying to “save” children; birth mothers making the wrenching decision to relinquish them; adoptive families waiting anxiously to adopt them; and the children themselves, struggling to understand. In particular, the book follows one such child, Anh Hansen, who left Vietnam through Operation Babylift and, decades later, returned to meet her birth mother. Through Anh’s story, and those of many others, The Life We Were Given will inspire impassioned discussion on the human cost of war, international adoption and aid efforts, and U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

In Their Own Voices series

[nggtags gallery=In-Their-Own-Voices,]

Product Description from Amazon

In Their Siblings’ Voices shares the stories of twenty white non-adopted siblings who grew up with black or biracial brothers and sisters in the late 1960s and 1970s. Belonging to the same families profiled in Rita J. Simon and Rhonda M. Roorda’s In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories and In Their Parents’ Voices: Reflections on Raising Transracial Adoptees, these siblings offer their perspectives on the multiracial adoption experience, which, for them, played out against the backdrop of two tumultuous, politically charged decades. Simon and Roorda question whether professionals and adoption agencies adequately trained these children in the challenges presented by blended families, and they ask if, after more than thirty years, race still matters. Few books cover both the academic and the human dimensions of this issue. In Their Siblings’ Voices helps readers fully grasp the dynamic of living in a multiracial household and its effect on friends, school, and community.

In Their Own Voices:
Their Parents’ Voices:
In Their Siblings’ Voices:

Transnational Adoption: A Cultural Economy of Race, Gender and Kinship.

Transracial AdoptionNew York: New York University Press – Dorow, S. K. (2006).

This book provides a sociological examination of Americans who adopt Chinese born children and the dynamic but uneven cultural ‘economy’ that shapes their politics of belonging and processes of identification. Dorow’s study is a real achievement as it begins to fill a significant gap of literature featuring more theoretically informed accounts of transnational adoptive parenting.

Cultures of Transnational Adoption

Cultures of Transracial AdoptionEdited by Toby Volkman (2005), Duke University Press.

A collection of academic writings from anthropologists. Some are adoptive parents and one is by an adopted Korean American. A previous offering by Volkman includes a special issue of Social Text, which offered a number of fresh perspectives and balanced analysis on the complexities and possibilities of transnational adoption as a comparatively new social practice. A full review is posted on Amazon and published in the ICASN January 2006 newsletter.

Beyond Good Intentions

Beyond Good Intentionsby Cheri Register (2005), Yeong Yeong Books

Cheri Register, the mother of two adult daughters adopted as infants from Korea who has offers personal essays reflecting on her own critical consciousness towards the sensitivities that can surround transnational adoption. The United States has many particularities that cannot easily translate to other countries experiences, and a number of her listed topics are given broader consideration in adoption discussion boards. The book raises issues such as birth parents, cultural appropriation and racism. There is little doubt that each topic deserves careful reflection. Whether Register can accomplish this task is perhaps not as important as the fact that she has decided to address them in the first place. From current responses in online forums, it seems that there are a number of adult adoptees and contemporary adoptive parents who identify and support her views, often through finding parallels with their own life experiences. Others suggest readers to apply more skepticism as to whether the book does more than just raise issues and there is suggestion that Register’s approach is far too stereotypical. A full review is posted on Amazon and published in the ICASN January 2006 newsletter.

Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections

Adoption ParentingNew York: EMK Press. Edited by MacLeod, J. and Macrae, S. 2006. pp 458 – 463
Features some chapters by adoptees.
Enquiries email:

(2006) A new book aimed at assisting adoptive parents work through a number of life-events with their children. Authors include adopted Vietnamese Christopher Brownlee, Analee Matthews and Indigo Williams Willing with some photographs supplied by Anh Dao Kolbe.

Please note that AVI’s honorarium for contributing to this book (via Indigo Willing’s piece) will go to KOTO to assist homeless Vietnamese youth.

Peace on Planet Earth

Peace on Planet Earth is an interactive, fun and engaging book from Canada for young children, created by Marilyn Irving. It concentrates on introducing countries like Vietnam, Jamaica and many other countries, their culture and communities to young children (features colouring in and other exercises). Indigo Williams Willing worked with Ms Irving to include a special section on Vietnamese orphans with some detail about AVI for Vietnamese adoptees. For more details on how to buy a copy please contact:

Lee Global Concepts at:

Rain In My Heart

Rain in My Heartby Barbara Ferguson OAM, PhD

Ferguson’s new memoir details her 8 years in South Vietnam – Rain in my Heart – Memories of children and war in South Vietnam. Lothian Books: Melbourne, 2006 is now in the shops – BigW has it discounted. Or It can be ordered thru:

Part of the royalties will go back to disadvantaged children in the plastic bag village in Saigon.


Turn My Eyes Away

by Rosemary Taylor is available from Susan McDonald, SL.

To order one, please contact
Cost: $25.00 US plus S & H (usually around 5.00 US)

We Should Never Meet (Fiction)

We Should Never Meetby Aimme Pham

• Winner of the 2004 Association of Asian American Studies Book Award
• Finalist for the 2005 Asian American Literary Awards in Fiction
• A 2005 Kiriyama Prize Notable Book

Compelling, moving, and beautifully written, the interlinked stories that make up We Should Never Meet alternate between Saigon before the city’s fall in 1975 and present-day “Little Saigon” in Southern California — exploring for us the reverberations of the Vietnam War in a completely new light.

Intersecting the lives of eight characters across three decades and two continents, these stories each surround the events of Operation Babylift, the emergency evacuation of 2,000 Vietnamese and Amerasian orphans from Vietnam under the executive order of President Gerald Ford just weeks before the fall of Saigon. Unwitting reminders of the war, these children were considered “bui doi,” the dust of life, and faced an uncertain, dangerous existence if left behind in Vietnam.

Fourth Uncle in the Mountain: A Memoir of a Barefoot Doctor in Vietnam

Fourth Uncle in the MountainMemoir by Quang Van Nguyen. Co-author Margie Pivar
St. Martins Press

Set during the French and American wars, Fourth Uncle in the Mountain is a true story about an orphan, Quang Van Nguyen, who is adopted by a sixty-four year old monk, Thau, who carries great responsibility for his people as a barefoot doctor. Thau manages, against all odds to raise his son to follow in his footsteps and in doing so, saves his son, as well as a part of Vietnam’s esoteric knowledge from the Vietnam holocaust. Thau is wanted by the French regime, and occasionally must flee into o the jungle, where he is perfectly at home living among the animals. Thau is not the average monk; he practices an ancient lineage of Chinese medicine and uses magic to protect animals and help people. As wise and resourceful as Thau is, he meets his match in his mischievous son. Quang is more interested in learning Cambodian sorcery and martial arts than in developing his skills and wisdom according to his father’s plan. Fourth Uncle in the Mountain is an odyssey of a single-father folk hero and his foundling son in a land ravaged by he atrocities of war. It is a classic story, complete with humor, tragedy, and insight from a country where ghosts and magic are real. Quang Van Nguyen is the son of one of South Vietnam’s most beloved folk-heros, Thau Van Nguyen. Quang became a Buddhist abbot before fleeing Vietnam in 1987. He now lives in the United States.

Becoming a parent: Lesbians, Gay Men and Family

Becoming ParentDamien Riggs, Australian scholar

There are details of the book at the publisher’s website :





From the Editors: Migrant Communities and Emerging Australian Literature.


From the Editors: Migrant Communities and Emerging Australian LiteratureAustralian literature is no longer limited to writings produced by mainstream publishing houses and academic programs of top universities. Today, much poetry, fiction, non fiction, theatre and film has been produced as initiatives of representatives from Australia’s recent migrant communities. These writings outside Australia’s mainstream literary cultures may provide alternative but illuminating renditions of what “being Australian” means.

“More than two decades have passed since the time when literary activities of the Vietnamese-Australian community seemed almost non-existent. It has been a long and challenging journey. But it is a wonderful journey, indeed. Today, looking back, I feel enraptured with the momentum it has achieved, and I strongly believe this journey still promises many more beautiful landscapes.

I have said optimistically: “Literary talents are always hidden somewhere like dormant seeds in the earth waiting for rain.” Now I want to add a few more words to it and make it like this:

“Literary talents are always hidden somewhere like dormant seeds in the earth waiting for rain to open up, and they need light and warmth to grow into flowery trees.” in My long journey with new and emerging Vietnamese-Australian Writers, Ngoc-Tuan Hoang

Cau Noi – The Bridge

Anthology of Vietnamese Australian Writing

Writers: David Phu An Chiem, Michelle Chuong, Khoa Do, Hai Ha Le, Hai Van Nguyen, Hoang Tranh Nguyen, Huong Thao Nguyen, Anh Khoa Tran, Matilda (Hang) Tran and Chi Vu

Since the fall of Saigon, 1975, three distinct generations of Vietnamese Australians – First, 1.5 and Second generation – have emerged distinctly all over the world. The 1.5 Generation belongs to people who are literally ‘born in Viet Nam and made in Australia’. ‘Cau Noi – The Bridge -Anthology of Vietnamese-Australian Writing’ examines the complexities of the 1.5 Generation and the emerging works of the Second Generation of Vietnamese-Australians.

The process of developing this anthology has included bringing together of the editor, Ngoc-Tuan Hoang with ten commissioned writers.Dr Mandy Thomas, Deputy Director, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University, points out “These are the threads of ‘Vietnamese-ness’, the intense ties to an unforgettable homeland in memory or in story, and the spirit of social justice that arises from the refugee experience which leaves an unmistakable trace in every generation.”

This anthology is a groundbreaking contribution to Vietnamese-Australian literature and worthy of literary merits because they are written not only with passion and honesty, but also with true intentions for literary innovation. The book will give reader opportunities to look into the strange cultural landscape of young Vietnamese-Australians and bring you on a journey along the wide spectrum of human feelings. The book will be launched by Dr. Frank Bongiorno, Chair, Literature & History Committee, NSW Ministry for the Arts & Senior Lecturer in History, University of New England.

Two special speakers – Thang Ngo, 1.5 generation and Sales & Marketing of SBS Radio and Michelle Chuong, second generation and Sydney Morning Herald Writer of the Year 2003 – will give insight into their own points of view.

For more info on how to attend or purchase a copy contact:
Cuong Phu Le
Asian-Australian CCD Officer
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre & Liverpool Regional Museum
PO BOX 190, Casula, NSW, 2170, Australia
Cnr Congressional Drive & Hume Highway

Tel: (02) 9824 1121
Fax: (02) 9821 4273