The story, with some of a mandala's repeated symbolic motifs, works on several levels at once. It is an exploration into the meaning of home, a descriptive travelogue, and an intimate look at the Vietnamese immigrant experience. There are beautifully illuminated flashbacks to the experience of fleeing Vietnam and to an earlier, more innocent childhood. While Pham's stern father, a survivor of Vietcong death camps, regrets that Pham has not been a respectful Vietnamese son, he also reveals that he wishes he himself had been more "American" for his kids, that he had "taken [them] camping." Catfish and Mandala is a book of double-edged truths, and it would make a fascinating study even in less able hands. In those of the adventurous, unsentimental Pham, it is an irresistible story. --Maria Dolan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I think Andrew Pham did a great job on writing Catfish and Mandala.
For the readers interest please note that this work has been well received by both the 2000 Whiting Writers Award and the 1999 Kiriyama (Pacific Rim Book Prize).
His stories of modern-day Vietnam are interdispersed with his mother's memories and his own memories of his childhood in Vietnam and the US.
Writing and theme were amazing! Prose that flow! Just loved reading this book!Published 12 days ago by Amy
Catfish and Mandala is a largely autobiographical account of his return to Vietnam by Andrew Pham. Pham was born in that country in 1967, but left along with his family after the... Read morePublished 29 days ago by John Martin
Nice book for westerners. Unfortunately it does not represent or give reader insight to a culture! It is like the Chinese fortune cookies, which one can't find in China!Published 1 month ago by ben
Started the book because it was recommended by a blog or something. The premise was very interesting but I quickly lost interest. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful account of a man's childhood in his birthplace, to his move to the US to his thoughtful painful and beautiful journey back as a young adult. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bonnie says...
Andrew Pham is a very good writer. His ability to describe a situation, a scene, and emotion, is exquisite. Everywhere he went on this journey I could see and smell the place. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lisa A. Sammet
An entertaining and revealing look at a beautiful country , it's people and culture, why and where they are now. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jim Clawson
I would love to get this book on CD to improve my commute. It looks like it will be excellent.Published 4 months ago by C. A. Russell