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Waidner-Spahr Library

Spring into the Semester Community Reading Program: 2021

Community Reading 2021: Sigh, Gone by Phuc Tran

Sigh, GoneSigh, Gone is a coming-of-age account of Tran’s life as a Vietnamese immigrant whose family fled their home country as a result of the Vietnam War. By sheer chance they land in Carlisle, PA, where the Trans struggle to assimilate into their new life. In this coming-of-age memoir told through the themes of Western classics such as The Metamorphosis, The Scarlet Letter, and The Iliad, Tran navigates the push and pull of finding and accepting himself despite the challenges of immigration, feelings of isolation, and teenage rebellion, all while attempting to meet the rigid expectations set by his parents.

Appealing to fans of coming-of-age memoirs such as Fresh Off the Boat, Running with Scissors, or tales of assimilation like Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Displaced and The Refugees, Sigh, Gone explores one man’s bewildering experiences of abuse, racism, and tragedy and reveals redemption and connection in books and punk rock. Against the hairspray-and-synthesizer backdrop of the ‘80s, he finds solace and kinship in the wisdom of classic literature, and in the subculture of punk rock, he finds affirmation and echoes of his disaffection. In his journey for self-discovery Tran ultimately finds refuge and inspiration in the art that shapes—and ultimately saves—him.

Sigh, Gone (MacMillan)

Borrow Sigh, Gone from the Waidner-Spahr Library