Interview on the Jim Bohannon Show: The Orphans

I just discovered that my interview from last March on the Jim Bohannon Show is available online at

The interview came five days after the publication of Last of the Annamese, my fiction-in-name-only (as one review described it) retelling of what happened during the fall of Saigon. Jim had read the novel and remarked on the orphans who appear throughout the story. As I told him, the orphans I described in the novel were real—I volunteered to work at orphanages throughout the thirteen years I trundled back and forth between the U.S. and Vietnam. These kids, mostly Amerasian, fathered by American GIs with Vietnamese women, broke my heart with their disabilities and winsome need to smile and laugh. I know that several hundred of the orphans survived the North Vietnamese conquest of South Vietnam and were brought to the U.S. as part of President Ford’s Operation BabyLift. But 78 were killed in the crash of the C-5A Galaxy aircraft on 4 April 1975, and most of the rest were left behind when Vietnam fell. I’ve heard rumors about the cruelty of the North Vietnamese to these half-American children. Their suffering is still a source of grief to me.

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