‘The Boat’ by Nam Le
May 20, 2008
The first story of the book. Father comes to visit son at creative writing school. Son gets ideas from friends to exploit the Vietnam experience from Father. Father tell son about story then later burns it after it is written. It is never shown or published. Seems to be a commentary there.
From The New Yourk Times artical by Patricia Cohen:
The last story, “The Boat,” describes a dire 13-day journey from Vietnam to a Malaysian camp, an experience not that different from one that Mr. Le, just a few months old, and his family went through after joining the legions of refugees trying to escape the Communist regime in 1979.
“One of the chief ambitions of the story was to play with that idea of what we consider to be authentic, how much autobiography is implied or assumed, how we read something differently if we think it’s been drawn from the author’s life,” Mr. Le said of “Love and Honor.”
His father spent three years in a re-education camp after the war, but unlike his fictional counterpart, who destroys one of his son’s stories, Mr. Le’s father made some suggestions and asked if he could translate the tales. His mother, he said, has not yet read them.