BOOKS: Shipwrecked in Vermont

A haunting tale of growing up in, and escaping from, Vietnam

A little over 10 years ago, a beat-up '67 Pontiac Firebird with California plates rumbled into Bennington, Vermont, and died. The driver was a 26-year- old Vietnamese refugee, a re-education camp survivor who a few years earlier, on his third try, had escaped from Vietnam by boat. In the U.S. he had taken to calling himself Jade because Americans could not pronounce Ngoc Quang Huynh. With him were two teenage brothers and a nephew. They were headed not to Vermont but simply "east," to find a place to settle. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, sheltering in a church basement, Jade had a...

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