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Narrated by Cat Thao Nguyen, who was born in a refugee camp to educated and entrepreneurial Vietnamese parents, We Are Here is a sensitive and beautifully written memoir about growing up in Western Sydney in the 1980s and 1990s. For her parents, who struggle with the language and find themselves beset with financial concerns, life in Australia remains a challenge. While Nguyen herself flourishes intellectually, she also carries the heavy burden of her family’s hopes and dreams. How she deals with this, and how she successfully moves between cultures, is the essence of this beautifully written memoir.
Painting vivid pictures of Nguyen’s family and the sacrifices they make for their children’s futures, We Are Here transcends stereotypes about refugee narratives, and movingly depicts the internal and external struggles to find identity and connection. A deeply personal story, it reveals powerful insights into universal truths of the migration experience and does so with humour, intelligence and grace.