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Quiet As They Come Paperback – August 17, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Ig Publishing; First Edition edition (August 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935439189
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935439189
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,048,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Serenely stirring stories from Vietnamese-American Chau track the breaking asunder of an extended Vietnamese boat family newly arrived in California in the 1970s. Fleeing the Vietcong and relocated to San Francisco, the family of aunts, uncles, and cousins has assumed catchy Western names like Sophia (Loren) and Marcel (Marcello Mastroianni), harboring many secrets in their bewildering new life in America. In "Hunger," the troupe of cousins gather their pennies and heads for the pool on July 4, braving verbal abuse from a hostile white neighbor while sharing a single slice of pizza. In "The Pussycats" a young mother, Kim, whose soldier husband, Duc, is imprisoned in Saigon, mistakenly takes her daughter to a porn flick with the title of a children's movie, setting in motion sexual desire for a married friend in her ESL class. Duc shows up after 10 years, in "Taps," as a hollowed-out victim of torture and trauma, now grievously unrecognizable. Well intentioned but misunderstood ("as quiet as they come"), Chau's characters, in portraits that radiate dignity and depth, seek freedom but find crushing loneliness.
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Review

"Angie Chau's fine collection of stories does for immigrants from South Vietnam what Jhumpa Lahiri did for East Indians or Junot Diaz did for people from the Dominican Republic. She tells their truth."—Dallas Morning News

Customer Reviews

I didn't want this book to come to an end!
Tiffany Song
Angie Chau's " Quiet as they come" is a set of short stories about immigrants from Vietnam.
Shobha Sharma
I immediately felt a connection with the characters in each of the short stories.
Ana Becker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Schaberg on August 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
In tracking how a group of characters drift into mainstream American culture, Angie Chau has written a book that confluences elegantly with the currents of contemporary U.S. fiction. The book is both an endearing account of a becoming-American family's survival, and a nuanced report on the deracination and integration of Vietnamese individuals in a new place, namely the San Francisco bay area--with all the personal connections, emotional fragmentations, pop culture explosions, and social fissures that occur along the way...
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Tiffany Song on August 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't want this book to come to an end! Angie Chau does a remarkable job of making her characters immediately come to life for the reader, and although their stories are wonderfully human and relatable, there are elements of sheer heroism that sparkle throughout. I also enjoyed the way Chau ends each of her chapters. There is a cliffhanger quality to her words, leaving the reader to interpret their meaning in an exciting and fresh way. Quiet As They Come is honest, insightful and heartfelt. I can only hope for a sequel to this book!
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By PKaye on October 25, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this in the middle of the night, having absolutely no idea what to expect from this author or how 'long' her 'short story' would be. I was quickly drawn in by Chau's in depth characters and intense subject matter. I appreciate that her writing is descriptively frank without being offensive. She quickly made me like her Vietnamese family and I was disappointed that there was not more text to explain to me how the core characters survive in American culture. I will be looking for more to enjoy from Angie Chau in the future.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Minh Quang on September 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Angie Chau's stories are vivid and heartfelt. Writing with keen observation, she portrays the complex tapestry of the lives of one extended Vietnamese family and their assimilation to America. With insightful creativity, she depicts the intricate threads woven by their relationships, their journeys from old homeland to new homeland, their journeys from one worldview to another, their journeys from childhood to adulthood, etc..
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Nancy McGauley on September 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Historically much has been written about the Vietnam War; much less about the assimilation of the first BoatPeople after their arrival on America's shores. Journey with young Elle, a young Vietnamese girl, as her family struggles with remnants from their old culture and the mysteries of the new. Through her eyes we meet her family and watch them adjust to their new lives.
Recommended reading for all of America's immigrants: first, second and third generation, and ESL teachers. Riveting. Each chapter is a rich character development. I didn't want the book to end.
Quiet As They Come
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 24, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
a short story. very interesting from beginning to end. the author is an excellent writer, very descriptive. i felt like i was there. i was disappointed that the story ended so soon.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Bowen on November 3, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded the Kindle version, which is two stories from the collection. They were wonderfully written, with three-dimensional characters. I want to read more!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Gottlieb on November 16, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a great find - thanks to all who recommended it. It's captivating, well-written, and I was truly disappointed when it was over, which was quickly!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Angie Chau was born in Vietnam. She has also lived in Malaysia, Italy, Spain, Hawaii, and currently resides in California. She earned a BA in Southeast Asian Culture and Political Economy (ISF) from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master's degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis from the University of California, Davis, where she was the fiction editor for The Greenbelt Review. She has been awarded a Hedgebrook Residency, an Anderson Center Residency, and a Macondo Foundation Fellowship. Her work has appeared in the Indiana Review, Santa Clara Review, Night Train Magazine, and the most recent Hey Day Books anthology, New California Writing. In 2009 she won the UC Davis Maurice Prize in Fiction. Released by IG Publishing in 2010, Quiet As They Come was and a Finalist in First Fiction for The Commonwealth Club Book of the Year Award and a Finalist in Fiction for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award. The San Francisco Chronicle described Chau's debut collection as "a powerful mix of tragedy and kindness, of miscommunications and all-too-painful empathy, which bound together are a resonating homage to many an immigrant."

In her spare time she enjoys cooking, eating with friends, surfing and swimming. She will always stop and drop everything for a good story.

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