Paperback, 255 pages, 6x9, English
by See Vue with Keith Quincy
Der is the incredible true account of a Hmong man and his people, a riveting story of a magical birth, of hope, courage, war, wonder, murder, human struggle and mirth. This rich and colorful tapestry of human life weaves together Hmong spirituality with what we think of as reality.
It is the end of the year, the time of the Hmong New Year festival. From the smoldering flesh and bone of sacrificial pig jaws emerge the souls of Yang ancestors. The souls enter the great shaman Yashao, and he falls into a trance. The shaman has a vision and predicts "evil from near and far" - and the birth of Der. If Der survives, his people will be saved from destruction in what will become the CIA's secret war in Laos.
The prophecy is fulfilled when the spirits reach into the White House and make Nixon their pawn. The President unwittingly saves a remnant of Hmong to continue their race.
But Der is not finished. The spirits want more. They give Der powers and visions, and send him to a far away university where an Arabian princess changes his life. Der dedicates his life to his people. But when his father dies, Der is at crossroad. His father was no ordinary man: the greatest horseman in Laos, the only Hmong preach monogamy, and the only man trusted by all the clans, for only he could see beyond clan, tribe, and race and glimpse a man as he truly is. Der searches for his true self, becomes his own guide, and no longer bends a knee to the spirits. The spirits would kill him if they could, but he alone is beyond their power. Yet they have one trick left.
"Be ready to marvel, to weep, to laugh out loud. You are about to take a journey you won't forget."