Hello everyone and welcome back to Lamon Reviews. Today we have a promotional post and authors interview with the book American Dreamer author Tim Tran.
Before we get too into the book, I want readers to know that it is rated for mature audiences. (PG + M) The book contains some bad language and recounts episodes of murder, rape, and suicide.
Book Title: American Dreamer: How I Escaped Communist Vietnam and Built a Successful Life in America by Tim Tran (Tran Manh Khiem) with Tom Fields-Meyer
Category: Non-Fiction (18 +), 390 pages
Publisher: Pacific University Press
Release date: June 2020
Content Rating: PG + M: The book contains some bad language and recounts episodes of murder, rape, and suicide.
“American Dreamer” is an inspirational, first-hand account of the motivating power of an immigrant’s dream for a better life. From the rural Vietnam of Tim Tran’s childhood to his eventual escape to America and his rise as CFO of a multi-billion-dollar company, Tran’s memoir is a lesson in perseverance and ingenuity. After he initially left Vietnam in 1970 to attend American universities on a USAID scholarship, Tran’s sense of commitment led him home shortly before the fall of Saigon in 1975. Suspected of being a CIA agent, he found life under Communism increasingly difficult and dangerous, and was forced to flee. During multiple attempts to escape, he encountered deceit, betrayal, and even murder. Finally, in 1979 Tran and his wife, Cathy, escaped with 350 others in a rickety, overcrowded boat, and faced pirate attacks and months in a Malaysian refugee camp before reaching their new home in Oregon. “American Dreamer,” written with passion, unflinching candor, and wit, is an extraordinary debut that confirms the American dream is alive and gives hope to anyone willing to work for a better life.
In 1970, Tim (Khiem) and Cathy (Thuy) Tran were top international students from South Vietnam who were awarded scholarships to study in the United States. They studied for two years at Pacific University in Oregon, after which Tim pursued his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, and Cathy finished her degree at the University of Oregon. Per the conditions of their scholarships, the two returned to South Vietnam in 1974. When Saigon was overrun by communist forces in 1975, the family endured great hardships. In 1979, Tim and Cathy managed to escape via boat. After a harrowing, life-threating voyage they were placed in a refugee camp in Malaysia.
Eventually the Trans were able to immigrate to the United States and became naturalized citizens in 1986. Tim went on to become the Chief Financial Officer of Johnstone Supply, and Cathy worked for U.S. Bank, then Standard Insurance, and became an accounting manager. In 2017, the Trans established a Library Endowment Fund at Pacific University. In honor of their gift, the library building on the Pacific University Forest Grove campus was dedicated as the Tim and Cathy Tran Library.
Connect with the author: website
Author Interview with Tim Tran
LR: What was the biggest “culture shock” for you when you came to the U.S. for the first time?
TT: I experienced many “culture shocks” when coming to the U.S. for the first time, the biggest of these is how friendly American students are.
An overwhelming majority of American students said “hello”, “how are you” and smile, they engaged in small talk and informal chats, they wanted to help me to understand all things American… Although Americans are very informal, they are also direct. This makes people from different backgrounds like me havg an easier time to understand American culture and develop friendships.
LR: Are there any important differences about the way that business is conducted in the U.S., as compared to when you were working for a corporation in Vietnam?
TT: There are many important differences; following are some issues that corporations doing business in Vietnam must deal with:
1. Political instability: the rise and fall of a government brings a whole new set of officials for business executives to get to know and deal with.
2. Corruption: corruption is prevalent; kickbacks and bribery are considered part of the cost of doing business. However, American companies also have to pay attention to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
3. Government policy, bureaucracy and red tape: it takes a lot of time, patience, and “grease” to get the wheels unstuck and moving again.
4. Inadequately educated workforce due to low literacy rates and inadequate (local) higher education system
5. Inadequate infrastructure: bad roads, lack of flood controls, and electricity brown-outs or black-outs.
LR: What has been your favorite place to travel in the United States?
TT: My favorite place to travel in the U.S. is Yellowstone National Park. To me, Yellowstone’s landscape is much more than just boiling hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles, waterfalls and geysers… It also has craggy peaks, alpine lakes, deep canyons, and vast forests.
In addition, there are abundant wildlife, herds of bison, elk, bears, deer, moose, pronghorns, coyotes, swans, eagles, and ospreys. We traveled to Yellowstone in both the summer and winter seasons and enjoyed our visits every time.
LR: What is your favorite word in Vietnamese, and why? What is your favorite word in English, and why?
TT: My favorite word in Vietnamese is “nguy co”, simply translating to English as “crisis”. The word “nguy” means “danger”. The word “co” means “opportunity”. So in a crisis, there are both elements of danger and opportunity.
My favorite word in English is “perseverance” since this word encompasses many qualities such as dedication, focus, patience, persistence, mental strength, steadfastness, tenacity, determination, resolution, endurance, commitment… I firmly believe that “perseverance” is one of the most important character traits for success.
LR: If you were going to write another book, what would it be about?
TT: If I were to write another book, a part of it would be a sequel to this book and include more teachable stories and anecdotes about my benefactors. It also would include my thoughts and commentaries on daily living. Tentatively, I would give this new book the title “Finally, Living the American Dream!”
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Enter the Giveaway:
I hope you have enjoyed today’s promotion of American Dreamer, and author interview with Tim Tran. If you are interested in reading this book, you can get it from the links in the main article for Amazon. Take a moment to enter the giveaway for you chance to win a copy of your own.
Dont forget to support you favorite indie authors and find new ones to love and support. If today’s book has piqued your interest or you want to read it, show the author some love by sharing this post on your preferred social media sites. It is and will be, as always, very much appreciated.