Our friends at Seattle Public Library put together a reading list just for our production, with plenty of titles to feed your interest before and after the show.
To view a full annotated list and place holds on items visit
Seattle Public Library’s website.
Where the Wind Leads
A Refugee Family's Miraculous Story of Loss, Rescue, and Redemption
by Chung, Vinh
From a relatively easy pre-Communist life in the Mekong Delta as members of the ethnic Chinese merchant class, Vinh Chung and his family became “boat people” forced to survive dangerous conditions including pirate attacks. After their rescue and relocation to Fort Smith, Arkansas, they encountered racial and economic discrimination while attempting to pursue the American dream.
Love Like Hate
by Dinh, Linh
Playwright Qui Nguyen interviewed his parents and loosely based VIETGONE on their “story about falling in love” and their joint journey throughout the United States. Dinh’s novel is a love story of Kim Lan, a café owner in Saigon and Hoang Long, a soldier and their thoroughly modern daughter Hoa and her relationship with the leader of a punk rock band, Love Like Hate, in postwar Vietnam.
Inside Out & Back Again
by Lai, Thanhha
Ten-year-old refugee Hà and her mother and brothers flee the fall of Saigon and resettle in Alabama in this National Book Award-winning children’s book based on Lai’s childhood experiences.
Last Days in Vietnam
DVD - 2015
Directed by Rory Kennedy, this Academy Award-nominated documentary depicts the evacuation of friends, family members and South Vietnamese collaborators before Saigon fell through personal eyewitness accounts and archival footage.
Mùi đu đủ xanh
L'odeur de la papaye verte = The scent of green papaya
In this idyllic and nostalgic look at pre-war Saigon, Mui, a young country girl, comes to work for a middle-class Vietnamese family and grows up to discover love before the coming storm: the civil war between North and South Vietnam. Directed by French-Vietnamese director Trân Anh Hùng, this 1993 film offered a contrast to the televised war footage most Americans saw.
Stealing Buddha's Dinner
by Nguyen, Bich Minh
Nguyen recounts her childhood as Vietnamese-American girl growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the 1980s who assimilated through her growing love for exotic American foods like Pringles and Kit Kats.
by Nguyen, Viet Thanh
Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Sympathizer follows a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who escapes to Los Angeles in 1975 and builds a new life in the refugee immigrant community. A double agent, his loyalties are torn between his friends in the United States and his obligations to report back to his Communist minders in Vietnam.
a war in the family
Streaming Video - 2007
In this gripping documentary, director Doan Hoang describes how her family members became separated during the fall of Saigon and records her attempts to reunite them decades later.
Catfish and Mandala
A Two-wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam
by Pham, Andrew X.
Book - 1999
After his older sister commits suicide, Pham, an engineer born in Vietnam but raised in the United States, quits his job and embarks on a year-long bicycling tour through Mexico, Japan, and ultimately Vietnam. Here he confronts his family’s troubled past and searches for his cultural identity in a memoir that is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking.
We Should Never Meet
by Phan, Aimee
Book - 2005
In these eight interlinked stories, which alternate between Saigon in 1975 and present-day “Little Saigon” in Southern California, Phan traces the journeys of five orphans who were part of “Operation Babylift,” the emergency evacuation of 2,000 Vietnamese and Amerasian orphans from Vietnam in the weeks before the fall of Saigon.
Saigon rock & soul
Vietnamese classic tracks, 1968-1974
Music CD - 2012
This catchy collection of rare Vietnamese rock and pop tracks from the 1960s and 70s demonstrates the influence of Western music on local culture during the war, and is an excellent soundtrack for VIETGONE.
A Family's Journey
by Tran, G. B.
Graphic Novel - 2010
Artist and author Tran investigates and recounts the painful, hidden family history of his parents, who fled Vietnam during the fall of Saigon, and his relatives that stayed behind in this compelling graphic memoir.
Vietnamese Americans in Seattle
Learn more about the history of the Vietnamese American community in Seattle with the resources on this list, created by one of the librarians in the Library’s Special Collections department.