Land of 10,000 books Weblog


Archived Posts from this Category

A Refugee’s Powerful Story

Posted byregana on 03 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Asian American, History, Immigration

Born into WarThe current issue of Asian American Press features an article about a fine and important Minnesota book: Born into War: One Man’s Journey from War-Torn Vietnam to Make a Home in Minnesota, by Connie Fortin as told by Trong Nguyen.

Several years ago in a Hamel, Minnesota, restaurant, Nguyen asked a customer whom he barely knew to take on the task of turning his memories into a book—and Connie Fortin agreed, much to her own surprise. The resulting story features drama, pain, suspense, hard work, luck, love, and success, all told in Trong’s voice and illustrated with family photos from Vietnam and America. It also offers readers a chance to share the experiences of a refugee, to marvel at his accomplishments, and to follow his return to Vietnam to seek out the remains of his father, who was killed by the Viet Cong in a jungle camp.

The book, published by North Star Press of St. Cloud, is available online and at the Minnesota History Center Museum Store.

A Heart Connects Us

Posted byregana on 03 Dec 2010 | Tagged as: History, Immigration

phpSmEJwGLeaving a life behind—and then struggling to keep in touch with loved ones: immigration is a wrenching change, and the letters between family members give a moving and intimate view of the process.

Latvians Edward Paikens and his mother, Anna, were the only members of their family to survive World War II. After the war, he immigrated to Minnesota from a displaced persons camp in Germany; she stayed behind in Latvia, unable to leave. He wrote in 1957 to assure her that he had no objections to her remarriage: “I am happy that you will be able to find a spouse for the latter half of your life . . . As you have mentioned it in your letters several times, we don’t have much hope to meet again.”

This letter and thirty-nine others are now available online in “A Heart Connects Us: Immigrant Letters and the Experience of Migration,” a pilot project sponsored by the Immigration History Resource Center at the University of Minnesota. Correspondence between eight non-English speaking immigrants and those they left behind, with English translations, opens the project. But surviving letters usually show only one side of the correspondence. The project’s organizers hope to find the missing letters in archives around the world, reuniting the stories of families and communities.

You can look at some letters for yourself, listen to Minnesota Public Radio’s story on the collection, and read more about Minnesota’s immigrants, either in our classic 1981 work, They Chose Minnesota: A Survey of the State’s Ethnic Groups, or in our People of Minnesota series, which includes books on the Norwegians, Swedes, Germans, Irish, Jews, African Americans, Mexicans, Poles, Chinese, and Hmong, as well as the Ojibwe, whose immigration story took place much earlier.

Hmongtown Marketplace

Posted byAlison Aten on 13 Sep 2010 | Tagged as: Asian American, Authors, History, Immigration, MHS Author in the News, MHS press

Peoples History of the HmongA piece by Jim Ragsdale published in last week’s Pioneer Press titled “The Hmong in St. Paul” profiles Paul Hillmer, author of A People’s History of the Hmong. Ragsdale writes, “the Hmong story is the American immigrant story on fast-forward, happening in our backyard, and likely to happen again.”

While Hillmer’s book is a look at the political and cultural history of the Hmong, for a literal taste of Hmong culture, head on over to Hmongtown in St. Paul. Located at Como Avenue and Marion Street, the indoor-outdoor venue features a farmers market, “food court,” Hmong arts and crafts, videos, health and beauty items, jewelry, clothing, and over two hundred vendors.

Book Trailer: A People’s History of the Hmong

Posted byAlison Aten on 29 Mar 2010 | Tagged as: Asian American, Authors, Event, Immigration, MHS press, Videos

Paul Hillmer’s A People’s History of the Hmong offers a rich narrative history of the worldwide community of the Hmong people, exploring their cultural practices, war and refugee camp experiences, and struggles and triumphs as citizens of new countries. The author describes how he came to write the book in the video linked below.

Professor Hillmer will give the keynote address at the Third International Conference on Hmong Studies at Concordia University on April 10.

He will also speak and sign books at the Rondo Community Library on Wednesday, April 14, at 7:00 p.m.

Thank you to our former design intern, Eric Reiger, for creating this video.

Meet Paul Hillmer Thursday Night

Posted byMary Poggione on 27 Jan 2010 | Tagged as: Asian American, Authors, Event, History, Immigration, MHS press

Peoples History of the HmongMeet Paul Hillmer, author of A People’s History of the Hmong, this Thursday, 1/28, at 6pm at the Concordia University library. Lee Pao Xiong, director for the Center for Hmong Studies, and Kao Kalia Yang, author of The Latehomecomer, will make introductory remarks followed by a thirty-minute presentation by Paul Hillmer, a question and answer period, and a book signing. We look forward to seeing you there!

Author Paul Hillmer and Huffington Post

Posted byMary Poggione on 06 Jan 2010 | Tagged as: Asian American, Authors, History, Immigration, MHS Author in the News, MHS press

Peoples History of the HmongPaul Hillmer, author of A People’s History of the Hmong, is in the Huffington Post today with a new article, Abandoning the Hmong Again?, his analysis of Thailand’s controversial deportation of Hmong people to Laos.

Thailand Deporting Hmong to Laos

Posted byMary Poggione on 28 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Asian American, Authors, Immigration, MHS press

Peoples History of the HmongThis morning the government of Thailand began forcibly deporting thousands of Hmong asylum seekers to Laos from a refugee camp in the Phetchebun province. Many in the international community, including the United States, have asked for the repatriation to cease as it is feared that the Hmong people would face persecution in Laos due to their support for the U.S. during the Vietnam War.

After the Vietnam War, approximately 150,000 Hmong immigrated to the U.S., with many settling in Minnesota.

For more info on the current repatriation of the Hmong to Laos, you can check out the New York Times. If you would like to learn more about the Hmong people, see Paul Hillmer’s new book A People’s History of the Hmong.

« Previous Page