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Review of ESCAPE FROM SAIGON by Andrea Warren

by Becky Laney

Warren, Andrea. 2004. ESCAPE FROM SAIGON. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN: 037432244.

ESCAPE FROM SAIGON: HOW A VIETNAM WAR ORPHAN BECAME AN AMERICAN BOY tells the story of how a Vietnamese boy, Long, became Matt Steiner. Born in a war-torn country, Long had a difficult childhood. He was a biracial child of a Vietnamese mother and an American father. His father abandoned him and his mother; his mother committed suicide leaving him in the care of his grandmother. Because of the poverty and increasing danger of the war, his grandmother had little choice but to leave Long with one of the orphanages in Saigon. Luckily, Long was chosen for adoption by an American family. Soon he was told that he would soon have a new home and a new name. ESCAPE FROM SAIGON shares his experiences in Southern Vietnam, his time at the orphanage, his recollections of being one of the orphans rescued by Operation Babylift in 1975, and his memories of his American childhood.

Warren tells a heartwarming story of one boy's experiences which in many ways represent the thousands of war orphans rescued from Southern Vietnam in the mid-seventies. Her text is based on her many interviews with Matt Steiner as well as her interview with other eyewitnesses. She also provides a thorough bibliography and index. The black and white photographs complement the text and help the reader understand the context of Matt's story.


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