Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight To Fit In

Flatiron: Macmillan. Apr. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781250194718. $27.99;. MEMOIR
Tran takes readers on a personal journey through his life after resettling to a small town in Pennsylvania from Vietnam following the fall of Saigon. The author describes being harassed by racists, and most important, by attempts to fit in, to be American. Tran’s struggle to be accepted is two pronged: he delves into books, reading voraciously, and also restyles his appearance, becoming a “skater kid.” His love of classic novels, the “great books” referenced in the book’s subtitle, is evident as each chapter title recognizes a book that has influenced his life, and academic success helped Tran adjust to his new life. Tran combines funny moments with heartbreaking stories; his explanations to his parents about why he wants to buy his clothes at Goodwill rather than the mall are laugh-out-loud funny, and readers will respond with compassion as he and his family deal with his mother’s cancer diagnosis.
VERDICT Tran’s engaging prose will connect with readers who ever went through a phase of wishing to fit in, which is pretty much all of us.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing