Reading (3/23)

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Behind the Red Curtain: A Memoir  
by Hong-My Basrai 

Reading and Discussion • Growing Up During the Fall of Saigon   
FREE • Thursday March 23 • 6:30 PM 
Bank of America Diversity Center • Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California

Behind the Red Curtain, a Memoir, is a true-life account of the author’s family experience in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975 to 1982. Told in the voice of a growing teenager, this is a harrowing tale of coping and survival. The author walks the reader through the metamorphosed world of a Vietnamese family inside Saigon during the period following the end of the Vietnam War. Within the context of this bigger drama, the author traces her private coming-of-age journey in an uncertain time.

Hong-My and her siblings in Saigon

Born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, Hong-My Basrai (née Lê Thị) is fluent in Vietnamese and French. From a very young age, Hong-My has demonstrated a propensity for literature and love of languages. Transplanted at age twenty-two to Southern California, she picks up English and improvises upon the borrowed language to make it her own. She holds a Chemical Engineering degree and some degrees of self-taught English. Hong-My is the author of Behind the Red Curtain (Los Nietos Press, 2020), a memoir about her seven years living inside fallen Saigon under communism. Her writings can be found at Eastlit Literary Journal, 2011 Writing from Inlandia Anthology, East Jasmine Review, Invisible Memoirs “Lionhearted”. She is a member of the Writers’ Club of Whittier, an Executive Board Member of the Inlandia Institute. She also serves on the Board of The Progressive Vietnamese American Organization to engage and empower Vietnamese Americans for a just and diverse America.

Inlandia workshops and events are supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at

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