The Gifts of Adversity

A Memoir

In her memoir The Gifts of Adversity, Dr. Carolee Tran vividly recounts her harrowing escape out of Vietnam with her family during the fall of Saigon and the obstacles they faced in pursuing the American dream. She also describes her history of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, its impact on her life, and how she found the strength to extricate herself from the perpetrator’s control. This moving and inspiring book is a human story about trauma, hope, resilience, and the power of the human spirit to survive and thrive under the most difficult circumstances.

The Gifts of Adversity is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle

What people are saying

“The Gifts of Adversity shakes you and breaks through your thoughts to make you see life anew. The traumas of the Vietnam War, polio, forced relocation to the U.S., bullying and racist experiences, and clergy sexual abuse are terrible but transformative for this remarkable Vietnamese American author, clinical psychologist, wife, mother and extraordinary citizen-witness. This narrative makes one believe in the human capacity for enduring and transcending the worst that life puts humans through.”

Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology at Harvard University, author of The Soul of Care

“This excellent memoir is a treatise on resiliency. Refugees learn what people will do to each other and for each other. Dr. Tran tells of her personal traumas and of her quest for acceptance and healing. She demonstrates resilience by focusing on the heroic sacrifices, the kindness and the courage of the many people who helped her find a place in America. The Gifts of Adversity is a love song to diversity and an urgent call to action. Her story reminds us we are all deeply connected and need each other to flourish.”

New York Times bestselling author of Reviving Ophelia, The Middle of Everywhere, and Women Rowing North

“So often we wish away life’s painful challenges. Yet Dr. Tran’s courageous story illuminates the fact that the most difficult circumstances can awaken our resilience and reveal our indomitable human spirit. We discover how mindfulness and compassion can transform potential suffering into deep grace.”

Author of Radical Acceptance and Radical Compassion

My Vietnam War Story