life rattle show no. 1275

Presented on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2013




"The Prisoners"
"The Scent of Green Chilies"

by Hien The Chu

tonight's Show

Life Rattle Number 1275 features two classics written by Hien The Chu, and read by Life Rattle co-founder, Arnie Achtman.

Tonight's stories, preludes to Hien The Chu's stories heard on Life Rattle No. 1164, are published in Rub Salt: Short Stories by Robert Charles Osborne, Peaches D. Ledwidge, Elizabeth Clark and Hien The Chu, a collection of gritty classic stories written by four of our master writers.

Hein The Chu was born in 1966 in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, one of eight children. Hien’s father’s was a career officer in the defeated South Vietnamese army. He commanded an infantry platoon, and was imprisoned after the fall of the Saigon regime. Hien Chu finished high school in Saigon in 1984, then attempted to escape his country because of the bleak future that awaited him if he stayed. He was caught, arrested and imprisoned. Later, In May, 1988 Hien Chu successfully fled his country in a small boat with eighty other people on board. They were rescued by a French ship after six days at sea and taken to Palawan refugee camp in the Philippines.

Hien Chu came to Canada in 1991. Then after eight months he returned to the refugee camp he had left, to work as an interpreter for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Hien Chu worked at Palawan Camp for fourteen months before he returned to Canada to study at the University of Toronto. He completed a degree in economics, computer science and writing, and went on to Complete a Masters of Information Studies in 1998. Chu worked in the I.T. industry for a few years, while studying theology at Tyndale Seminary. In 2004, after finishing his Masters of Theological Studies, Hien Chu left his I.T. job and became a pastor for a Vietnamese church in Mississauga.

The two stories you will hear tonight are about his first failed attempt to leave Vietnam in 1988.

In "The Prisoners," A young man’s attempt to flee Communist Vietnam is thwarted by his lack of guile.

In "The Scent of Green Chilies," A young man strives to survive political imprisonment and is encouraged by the kindness of a woman others revile.

Tonight’s stories may be difficult for some to listen to. They contain strong language, sexual content and violence. Listener discretion is advised.