Category Archives: Family history

Cook

It is Thanksgivingukkah week, the coinciding of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah that occurs every 70,000 to 80,000 years due to the insertion of a leap lunar month into the Jewish calendar to align with the solar year. Twice the pressure to … Continue reading

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Michaela

In celebration of my friend Sue Katz Miller’s grand “coming out” with her first book on raising interfaith families (Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family), I decided to post this chapterlet ahead of where it belongs in … Continue reading

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Nha (House)

This was the beginning of my “reclamation,” of family history, of memories, of ghosts and traumas. Cathay Pacific made a dusty landing at Noi Bai International. Smileless brown men in uniform stood on the tarmac with familiar facial structures – … Continue reading

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Boy

When I was six, I had no grandfathers. Life had sprung from my beaming father and his older sisters on the one hand, and my mother and her siblings on the other. Ba Ngoai was the parthenogenic source of it … Continue reading

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Thay Giao

The first thing I knew about my father was that he was a teacher. He was a teacher in Saigon, a teacher within less than a year of arriving in Philadelphia, a teacher until he retired eleven years ago, before … Continue reading

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Ba Ngoai

I was eleven before I knew her real name – Le Thi Canh. We called her Ba ngoai – Ba for female of the grandparents’ generation, and ngoai of the maternal line, the ‘outside family’ that has to earn acceptance … Continue reading

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