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Melting pot: Vietnamese family settles in New Orleans

In his debut novel, Eric Nguyen brings masterful masterful storytelling to “Things We Lost to the Water.” The story follows first- and second-generation Vietnamese immigrants living in New Orleans, beginning in the late 1970s and ending with Hurricane Katrina. His incredible story inspires compassion. 

There is astounding grace, emotional depth, and imaginative speculations in this saga about a young family from Saigon. In the city, Công works as a professor of literature at a university; his devoted wife, Huong, is a homemaker; and Tuấn is their sweet 5-year-old son. “Theirs was a house of love,” Huong thinks. “It was all they ever needed – love. And with love, they would survive.”

But as the chaos of the Vietnam War comes nearer and the threat of a Communist takeover looms, the family rushes to escape the country. In the confusion, Công disappears as their boat leaves, and Huong and Tuấn face a difficult journey to New Orleans, with a new baby, Bình, born in a refugee camp en route.

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