March 11, 2012.
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
… Award-winning Ukrainian Canadian children’s and young adult author discusses Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War, her first work of narrative non-fiction. True story of an 8-year old Vietnamese girl who started a new life in Brantford, Ontario after the 1975 final airlift rescue mission from war-torn Vietnam.
Listen to the March 11 broadcast interview:
Listen to the full (uncut) interview
(Excerpts of this interview aired on the weekends of March 3/4 and 10/11, 2012.)
About the author
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch has received numerous awards and honours for her picture books and young adult novels, including a nomination for the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year in 2007.
In 2008, Marsha was awarded the Order of Princess Olha by the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yushcehnko, in recognition of Enough, her children’s picture book about the Holodomor, the 1932-33 famine in which millions of Ukrainians were deliberated starved to death by the soviet communist regime.
Surprisingly, up until the fourth grade, Marsha did not know how to read! She says that after she failed a provincial test, she taught herself how to read with Oliver Twist – a large novel that took her a year to complete.
Ever since, Marsha read as many books as she could get her hands on, and had a new dream of becoming an author. After completing an English and Library Science degree, backpacking across Europe, and working for an industrial sales company, Marsha eventually focused on writing. After a hundred rejections, her first book was published in 1996.
For more information about Marsha, visit her website/blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
About the book:
Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War is the true story of the last Canadian airlift operation that left Saigon and arrived in Toronto on April 13, 1975.
Son Thi Anh Tuyet was one of 57 babies and children on that flight. Based on personal interviews and enhanced with archive photos, Tuyet’s story of the Siagon orphanage and her flight to Canada is an emotional and suspenseful journey brought to life by the award-winning children’s author, Marsha Skrypuch.
A woman would come to see me. She would bring a young boy. I would sit on her lap for a while, and then they would leave. Maybe that was my mother; maybe the boy was my brother.
After a while, they stopped coming.
Like the other children in the Saigon orphanage, Tuyet dreams of a family of her own. But she is one of the oldest, and polio has weakened her and left her with a limp. Nobody will adopt a girl like her. Instead, Tuyet cares for the babies and toddlers, hoping that if she continues to make herself useful, the nuns will let her stay.
One day in April, the babies and toddlers are packed into small boxes and frantically loaded into a van, along with Tuyet, who believes that her job is to look after the babies until they are airlifted to safety. But she was wrong.
When the huge Hercules C-130 takes off from the burning city, Tuyet is onboard, wondering about her fate once the aircraft lands. When it does, she has no idea of the adjustments she will make to a new life in Brantford, Ontario.
Order the book!
If you’d like a copy of Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War, it’s available in both harcover and paperback from Amazon and other major retail outlets.
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