By Andrew Lam
The 13 tales in Birds of Paradise Lost shimmer with humor and pathos as they chronicle the discomfort and pleasure and bravado of America’s latest americans, the afflicted lives of these who fled Vietnam and remade themselves within the San Francisco Bay zone. The past—memories of battle and its aftermath, of homicide, arrest, re-education camps and new fiscal zones, of get away and shipwreck and atrocity—is ever found in those clever and compassionate tales. It performs itself out in fabulous methods within the lives of people that notion that they had moved past the nightmares of warfare and exodus. It comes again on television within the type of a confession from a cannibal; it enters the Vietnamese eating place as a Vietnam Vet with a shameful mystery; it articulates itself within the bizarre tics of a guy with Tourette’s Syndrome who struggles to accommodate a profound tragedy. Birds of Paradise Lost is an emotional travel de strength, intricately rendering the fake begins and revelations within the fight for integration, and in so doing, the human heart.
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