Trauma Narratives of Diasporic Journeys: Huynh’s South Wind Changing and Nguyen’s Where the Ashes Are as Vietnamese Diasporic Literature - Volume 4 Number 2 (Jun. 2018) - IJLLL

IJLLL 2018 Vol.4(2): 71-79 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2018.4.2.153

Trauma Narratives of Diasporic Journeys: Huynh’s South Wind Changing and Nguyen’s Where the Ashes Are as Vietnamese Diasporic Literature

Kittiphong Praphan
Abstract—This paper, through Jade Ngoc Quang Huynh’s South Wind Changing and Qui Duc Nguyen’s Where the Ashes Are, discusses traumatic experiences of the authors and other Vietnamese diasporic subjects during their journeys to the new world. As portrayed in these two autobiographies, the exodus from their homelands is laden with traumatic memories developed from horrible experiences they receive from domestic journeys to escape from war and journeys across the ocean to escape from Communist oppression and persecution. The traumatic memories are deeply engraved in the authors’ imagination and later transformed to be trauma narratives which function as channels through which they share traumatic experiences with other groups in the society. Therefore, the above two autobiographies serve as a bridge to connect people in their group with other groups, as they provide readers with more understanding about their people. These narratives can also be read as a healing process to help the authors, as trauma sufferers, to recover from or cope with painful memories. The discussion of this paper indicates that Vietnamese diasporic literature is informed by traumatic memories, the collective memories of its people.

Index Terms—Vietnamese diasporic literature, traumatic memories, trauma narratives.

Kittiphong Praphan is with the Department of Western Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mahasarakham University, Thailand (e-mail: kittiphong.p@msu.ac.th).

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Cite:Kittiphong Praphan, "Trauma Narratives of Diasporic Journeys: Huynh’s South Wind Changing and Nguyen’s Where the Ashes Are as Vietnamese Diasporic Literature," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 71-79, 2018.

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