And So I Was Blessed

by Bunkong Tuon

100 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Library of Congress Control Number:  2017948480

ISBN:  978-1-63045-052-6

Publication Date:  10/09/2017

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And So I Was Blessed weaves together three narrative strands: a tourist visiting Việt Nam, a son sojourning to his father's village in the Mekong Delta, and a professor leading his students on a term abroad, all for the first time. Running throughout this poetry collection is the refrain of the central character—the tourist, son, and professor—missing the daughter he left behind. This is a book about history and memory, tourism and education, arrival and departure, loss and alienation, longing and misrecognition, and above all, a father's love for his daughter.

Recommendations

And So I Was Blessed combines songs of innocence with songs of experience, sometimes in the same poem. They take us on a journey with an Asian American speaker in search of a lost home,but along with discovering his Americanness abroad, we sense his depth of humanity no matter where he lands.

—Floyd Cheung, Professor of English, Smith College


Bunkong Tuon writes with clarity, honesty, and depth of feeling about the Cambodian-American experience like no one else. The pain of prejudice and loss, the struggle with identity, the hope and joy that family past and present bring. This book is a blessing for all readers.

—Jim McCord, Emeritus Professor of English, Union College


In Bunkong Tuon’s second collection, And So I Was Blessed, we go with him as he visits his father's village. His grandmother, aunts, and uncles welcome him warmly, passing down family folklore with humor, and he learns all about the love his father had for him, the love he always missed. Gratefully, he accepts these gifts, these blessings, and brings them home to his wife, his newborn daughter, and to us, his most fortunate readers, to enrich our lives.

—Tony Gloeggler, author of Until the Last Light Leaves