House of sticks : a memoir

by Tran, Ly, 1989-

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 6 Libraries 6 of 12 copies
Available (6)
Location Collection Call #
Baldwin Borough Library Biography and Memoir BIOGRAPHY TRA
Location  Baldwin Borough Library
Collection  Biography and Memoir
CLP - Allegheny Regional New Books F128.9.V53 T73 2021
Location  CLP - Allegheny Regional
Collection  New Books
Call Number  F128.9.V53 T73 2021
CLP - Main Library First Floor - New Non-fiction F128.9.V53 T73 2021
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - New Non-fiction
Call Number  F128.9.V53 T73 2021
Cooper-Siegel Community Library New Books 92 TRA
Location  Cooper-Siegel Community Library
Collection  New Books
Call Number  92 TRA
Monroeville Public Library New Books 974.723 TRAN
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  New Books
Call Number  974.723 TRAN
Northland Public Library New Books 974.723 T68
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  New Books
Call Number  974.723 T68
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Bethel Park Public Library New Books CHECKED OUT
Location  Bethel Park Public Library
Collection  New Books
CLP - Downtown First Floor - New Books CHECKED OUT
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Collection  First Floor - New Books
CLP - Homewood Non-Fiction Collection IN TRANSIT
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This beautifully written "masterclass in memoir" ( Elle ) recounts a young girl ' s journey from war-torn Vietnam to Queens, New York, "showcas[ing] the tremendous power we have to alter the fates of others, step into their lives and shift the odds in favor of greater opportunity" ( Star Tribune , Minneapolis).

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 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 a mark on Ly's sense of self. Who is she outside of everything her family expects of her?

An "unsentimental yet deeply moving examination of filial bond, displacement, war trauma, and poverty" (NPR), House of Sticks is a timely and powerful portrait of one girl's coming-of-age and struggle to find her voice amid clashing cultural expectations.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Tracing the paths of immigration and poverty, Tran's moving and exceptionally readable memoir is at once heartbreaking, shocking, and hopeful. Young Ly and her family arrive in Queens in 1993 through a humanitarian resettlement program made possible because her father, a former lieutenant for the South Vietnamese army, spent 10 years as a POW. His PTSD and paranoia manifest as anger and violence, his only way of protecting his family. Their tiny, roach-infested apartment transforms into a family-run sweatshop; when that work dries up, they buy a rundown nail salon where only-daughter Ly works weekends starting at age 12. While education is important in her family, Ly struggles in school because her father thinks her much-needed glasses are a government conspiracy. Left at home when her brothers move away, unable to engage with a world she cannot see, Ly retreats into herself, sliding into depression. It takes nothing short of a village to get Ly back on track, but finding her voice is something she must do on her own. Tran is exceptional at telling her story with honesty and without judgment. Readers who loved Tara Westover's Educated (2018) will find a similarly compelling memoir of resilience in a not-often-seen America."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Tran, Ly, -- 1989- -- Childhood and youth.
Tran, Ly, -- 1989- -- Family.
Vietnamese American women -- New York (State) -- New York -- Biography.
Immigrant youth -- New York (State) -- New York -- Biography.
Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) -- Biography.
Publisher New York :2021
Edition First Scribner hardcover edition.
Language English
Description 368 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781501118814
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