“Based on the true story of survivor Viet Nyugen, Dunivan’s sprawling, just-the-facts narrative vividly captures Viet’s story, the Saigon setting, and the ups and downs of living in 1975 Saigon. The details are rendered lovingly and cinematically, and as a result, the plot feels very real. Dunivan has penned a compelling, rich first novel that shows his considerable promise.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Viet’s story is not only engaging and accessible for my students, but it helps personalize the experiences of the Vietnamese following the fall of Saigon. It’s a must read not only for teaching post-war Vietnam, but for anyone trying to bring light to how human rights issues arise.”

Kathryn Jue, Social Science Department Chair,
Garden Grove High School, Garden Grove, CA

“The novel is so realistic that it gives you the feeling of actually being in a Vietnamese prison camp, and the descriptions are so vivid that it feels like the communist officials are trying to brainwash you and make you fall into one of their psychological traps. I highly recommend this book for teachers who want to help their students understand this important part of history.”

Jesse Houze, World History Teacher,
Morse High School, San Diego, CA

“Through his friendship with author Dennis Dunivan, Viet Nguyen’s long journey out has become testimony to the disaster of southern Viet Nam after the fall of Saigon. Escape From Communist Heaven is a noble and uplifting story rising, as the saying goes, ‘like a lotus from the mud.’”

Dan Duffy, PhD, Viet Nam Literature Project and former editor,
Yale SEAS Vietnam Publications Series

“In the words of Vietnamese dissident poet Nguyen Chi Thien (1939-2012): ‘I have been looking for a sound that would boom like the roar of the ocean / A sound all my compatriots also dream / I listen closely / It seems the roaring has started.’ (Hoa Dia Nguc, The Flowers of Hell) This is a true story of resistance and escape from Communist oppression by a brave family, especially Viet Nguyen, the oldest son.”

Jean Libby, Viet Am Review

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