“My goal in life is to make a humble contribution to the society that accepted and helped me when I was a person without a country.” — Tim Tran
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
Genre: Memoir | Publisher: Pacific University Press
Release date: June 2020 | Tour dates: Jun 18 to Jul 8, 2020
Format available : print, mobi (for Kindle), epub, PDF
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.
Available Now for PreOrder! Release Date: Jun 20, 2020
BUY THE BOOK: Amazon ~ Add to Goodreads
REVIEW by LAWonder10:
This is a book ALL Americans should read! It applies to much of what is going on now.
This is an outstanding, inspirational true story, written as well as any non-fiction I have ever read! It is so well organized and very easily followed. In spite of unimaginable hardships, he still applies humor and intrigue. A well-written novel could not have been more interesting than this tale!
Although "Tim Tran" was blessed with a wonderful father who taught important, strong values, it is easy to discover that it was his mother, who had been through many severe hardships in her life, who was the congealing force in the family's success and determination. His mother was a quiet, hard working woman with great entrepreneur skills and wisdom beyond er years.
"Tim's" father was raised wealthy and quite well educated. In North Vietnam, his father joined in groups fighting for independence but had the foresight to realize he needed to find a way for him and his family to reside in South Vietnam. Refugees at first, they eventually made it to a better life in Saigon.
Through "Tim's" father's diligence in his sons education, "Tim" earned much success in school, and many awards. This served him well for the rest of his life.
Times were hard as the war in Vietnam escalated. With outstanding awards and recommendations, "Tim was able to get a scholarship to go to the U.S. for college. Among the five foreign students chosen to attend college in the US, one was a girl, "Cathy" who he became acquainted with. Little did they know how their paths would continue to, miraculously, cross.
Eagerly accepted by member of his dorm, "Tim" experienced American culture - to good and the bad. He never criticized, eagerly learned, and always was friendly and positive. He ended up graduating from Berkeley. His VISA ended and he had to make a difficult choice in those turbulent times whether or not to return to his homeland as was expected.
From this time forth, "Tim" experienced very difficult, discouraging times of betrayal and degradation. However, with the strong work ethics, honesty, tenacity and a positive attitude he had been raised with, he would eventually. prevail.
This book makes such a strong statement! It has earned my highest recommendation!
Tim Tran, author of AMERICAN DREAMER
Describe the process of working with a co-author to tell your life story. What most surprised you about the process? What was most challenging?
A. My process of working with a co-author to tell my life story is as follows:
1. After listening to my story and reviewing my outline, notes and draft of my manuscript, the co-author began the process of extensive planning, organizing and preparing a detailed outline to be discussed and used as the framework for the book.
2. We spent time communicating by phone, emails, and face-to-face interviews as the co-author started drafting the book one chapter at a time. The co-author and I discussed the draft and possible changes and revisions that I wanted to make to each chapter.
3. Once all the chapters were written, the co-author and I had many discussions about additional revisions, moving plots, re-organizing episode and events and fact-checking. Sometimes more research, editing, and re-writing were done.
4. Finally, as all the drafts of the manuscript was completed and I was happy with the end product, we worked on polishing the manuscript, adding pictures to the book, final proofreading for errors of grammar and punctuation, and final copy editing and revisions, as necessary.
What surprised me about the process was it required a lot on both the author’s and co-author’s part to produce a great memoir, perhaps a prize-winning one! First and foremost, the author and co-author must be comfortable with and trust each other. Both sides should agree in advance on a set fee, payment terms and a time frame of completion of the book. Both parties should be easy to talk to, easy to work with, engaging, trusting, accommodating and professional. Both must be willing to accommodate each other’s pace and schedule to make the entire process go smoothly.
The most challenging task for both the co-author and me was to decide what part of my story to include and what to leave out. The co-author suggested cutting out a lot of anecdotes and stories that were, in my opinion, very important in my original draft. I was advised to only include only materials that “move the story forward” and “keep the number of pages of the book within a reasonable range”. I argued convincingly to keep some, but ultimately a lot were left out of the final version. Through this process with my co-author, I learned that in writing memoir, “what gets left out can be as important as what gets put in” and “it is more difficult to cut than to add.”
Meet the Author:
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
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