American Ancestors│NEHGS and the Boston Public Library Present a Story of Immigration and Assimilation

The following announcement was written byAmerican Ancestors│NEHGS

American Ancestors│NEHGS and the Boston Public Library
Present a Story of Immigration and Assimilation

Author Phuc Tran with His New Book SIGH, GONE
Talks Tuesday, April 28, at 6 p.m. EDST in a New Virtual Event Series
Titled “American Stories, Inspiration Today”

Topics to Range from 1630s Plymouth to Immigrant America 1980s Style,
Ties to Ireland and the Potato Famine to the Impactful Realm
of DNA Testing Today – All Providing History, Inspiration, Intelligence
on the American Experience for This Unprecedented At-home Time

Talks Are Free – Online Registration Now Open

Phuc Tran

April 24, 2020—Boston, Massachusetts—On Tuesday, April 28, at 6:00 p.m. EDST, author Phuc Tran, who was born in Vietnam, will share his story of immigration and assimilation with online audiences in a virtual event presented in a new series titled “American Stories, Inspiration Today” by American Ancestors │New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). Presented in partnership with the Boston Public Library, the online series features best-selling authors and their new illuminating works.

The new virtual event series aims to “provide our quarantined audiences with the context of history, some hard-won insight and intelligence, and a dose of inspiration that might get us all through this unprecedented at-home time,” said Margaret Talcott of American Ancestors │NEHGS, one of the series’ producers. Tran is the second author in the series, with two more to come in May.

“Phuc Tran’s story of the American dream should resonate with all of us, with anyone who has ever felt new anywhere. His America is our America, warts and all, and a story to be shared particularly at this time,” said Talcott.

In 1975, during the fall of Saigon, Phuc Tran emigrates to America along with his family. By sheer chance they land in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a small town where the Tran family struggles to assimilate into their new life. In this coming-of-age memoir told through the themes of great books such as The Metamorphosis, The Scarlet Letter, The Iliad, and more, 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 immigrant parents. Sigh, Gone explores one man’s bewildering experiences of abuse, racism, and tragedy. 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.

Phuc Tran has been a high school Latin teacher for more than twenty years while also simultaneously establishing himself as a highly sought-after tattooer in the Northeast. A graduate of Bard College, he has taught Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, and German in New York City and Portland, Maine. His 2012 TEDx talk “Grammar, Identity, and the Dark Side of the Subjunctive” was featured on NPR’s Ted Radio Hour.

Register for this free event at:

More information about the series and authors is available on the websites of the presenting organizations including American Ancestors│NEHGSWGBH Forum Network, co-presenters and producers, and the Boston Public Library.

Upcoming virtual events in the “American Stories, Inspiration Today” series include:

 Author Stephen Puleo with VOYAGE OF MERCY: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America’s First Humanitarian Mission — Thursday, May 14, at   6:00 pm EDST

Author Libby Copeland with THE LOST FAMILY: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are — Wednesday, May 20, at 6:00 pm EDST


One Comment

Tran’s wife is a former student of mine. I have followed his progress on Facebook for a number of years now, and am so pleased to see this.


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