The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir

Front Cover
Coffee House Press, Dec 15, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 296 pages
16 Reviews

In search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand and onward to America. But lacking a written language of their own, the Hmong experience has been primarily recorded by others. Driven to tell her family's story after her grandmother's death, "The Latehomecomer" is Kao Kalia Yang's tribute to the remarkable woman whose spirit held them all together. It is also an eloquent, firsthand account of a people who have worked hard to make their voices heard.

Beginning in the 1970s, as the Hmong were being massacred for their collaboration with the United States during the Vietnam War, Yang recounts the harrowing story of her family's captivity, the daring rescue undertaken by her father and uncles, and their narrow escape into Thailand where Yang was born in the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp.

When she was six years old, Yang's family immigrated to America, and she evocatively captures the challenges of adapting to a new place and a new language. Through her words, the dreams, wisdom, and traditions passed down from her grandmother and shared by an entire community have finally found a voice.

Together with her sister, Kao Kalia Yang is the founder of a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. A graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University, Yang has recently screened "The Place Where We Were Born," a film documenting the experiences of Hmong American refugees. Visit her website at www.kaokaliayang.com.

  

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Review: The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir

User Review  - Don - Goodreads

I found this book, a family memoir of Hmong refugees as a result of the Vietnam War, enlightening and provocative. First, I had never heard of the Hmong connection with the Vietnam war, their ... Read full review

Review: The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir

User Review  - Shirley Freeman - Goodreads

I really liked this memoir by a Hmong woman who came to the US as a 6 year old refugee in 1987. Most of Yang's large extended family ended up in the US when Thailand closed its refugee camps. Her ... Read full review

Contents

PEOPLE OF THE
5
THE LITTLE GIRL WITH THE DIMPLES
53
THE AMERICAN YEARS
129
EPILOGUE
269

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About the author (2010)

Born in a Thai refugee camp in 1980, Kao Kalia Yang immigrated to Minnesota when she was six. Together with her sister, she founded Words Wanted, a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. A graduate of Carleton College and Columbia University, Yang has also recently completed a short film on the Hmong American refugee experience.