House of Sticks: A Memoir (Compact Disc)

House of Sticks: A Memoir By Ly Tran, Ly Tran (Read by) Cover Image

House of Sticks: A Memoir (Compact Disc)

By Ly Tran, Ly Tran (Read by)


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June 2021 Indie Next List

“This timely book follows the life of a young woman whose family immigrates to New York from Vietnam. It is a heartbreaking look at the challenges to overcoming PTSD, poverty, and mental illness. Ultimately, Ly Tran’s story is one of hope, one that is much-needed today.”
— Alecia Diane Castro, Sweet Home Books, Wetumpka, AL

This compelling and honest memoir was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Ly and her family emigrated to the United States in the early 1990s. Once here, they lived well below the poverty line and struggled and scratched out a life. Ly’s father was imprisoned in a ‘re-education’ camp, in Vietnam for over ten years and those emotional scars and ptsd resonated through their family life. The biggest fall out was her father’s refusal for believing that Ly needed glasses from the third grade on. Reading about Ly’s deteriorating eye sight even she excelled at school, was really stressful as well as her navigation of school as she got older. There is a fair amount of introspection as Ly tries to understand her parents and about mental health issues. She’s generous and not quite forgiving, but understanding that their past, effects her future. 

— Audrey H.

An intimate, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir recounting a young girl's journey from war-torn Vietnam to Ridgewood, Queens, and her struggle to find her voice amid clashing cultural expectations.Ly Tran is just a toddler in 1993 when she and her family immigrate from a small town along the Mekong river in Vietnam to a two-bedroom railroad apartment in Queens. Ly's father, a former lieutenant in the South Vietnamese army, spent nearly a decade as a POW, and their resettlement is made possible through a humanitarian program run by the US government. Soon after they arrive, Ly joins her parents and three older brothers sewing ties and cummerbunds piece-meal on their living room floor to make ends meet. As they navigate this new landscape, Ly finds herself torn between two worlds. She knows she must honor her parents' Buddhist faith and contribute to the family livelihood, working long hours at home and eventually as a manicurist alongside her mother at a nail salon in Brownsville, Brooklyn, that her parents take over. But at school, Ly feels the mounting pressure to blend in. A growing inability to see the blackboard presents new challenges, especially when her father forbids her from getting glasses, calling her diagnosis of poor vision a government conspiracy. His frightening temper and paranoia leave an indelible mark on Ly's sense of self. Who is she outside of everything her family expects of her? Told in a spare, evocative voice that, with flashes of humor, weaves together her family's immigration experience with her own fraught and courageous coming of age, House of Sticks is a timely and powerful portrait of one girl's struggle to reckon with her heritage and forge her own path.

Product Details ISBN: 9781797124629
ISBN-10: 1797124625
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: June 1st, 2021
Language: English