Classic Catalog

Sigh, Gone: A Misfit's Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In

by Phuc Tran

About the Book

In Carlisle, PA during the ‘80s, the Tran family “blended right into the mix like proverbial flies in the ointment, which is to say, they didn’t.” As refugees from Vietnam, the Trans struggled to navigate small-town America. At Carlisle High School, Phuc Tran was the only Asian student, the token refugee kid. 

Grade by grade, Phuc clawed his way toward acceptance. He absorbed racist taunts, fended off bullies, and even tried Americanizing his name to Peter.  Through literature and punk rock he learned to accept himself. In the classics, Phuc found solace and kinship in the wisdom of their pages. In the subculture of punk rock, he found affirmation and echoes of his disaffection. He began to understand the meaning of place in his family’s displacement.

In telling his assimilation story, Phuc holds a mirror to what’s happening today, bearing witness to the lives of the people this country has, until recently, welcomed with open arms.

About the Author

Phuc Tran has been a high school Latin teacher for over twenty years while also establishing himself as a highly sought-after tattoo artist. Tran graduated Bard College in 1995 with a BA in Classics and received the Callanan Classics Prize. His 2012 TEDx talk “Grammar, Identity, and the Dark Side of the Subjunctive” was featured on NPR’s Ted Radio Hour. His acclaimed memoir, Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and The Fight To Fit In, received the 2020 New England Book Award for Nonfiction. He tattoos and lives with his family in Portland, Maine.

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Discover your inner hero at the library’s comic event. Celebrate the comic books you love, and geek out on your favorite fandom. Join us for hands-on activities, free books, a comic workshop, and other fun events! 

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Please follow COVID safety measures. Tickets are $3 with valid GRPL library card. Buy tickets at the door or online at Use promo code: GRREADS2021.

Mastering the Art of Pho *Sold Out*

Thursday, August 12, 2021, 6:00 pm 
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Registration is required

Join The Good Bowl restaurant for a fun and interactive cooking class with Executive Chef and co-owner Tony Vu. He will walk you through how to master the art of Vietnam’s national homemade pho virtually in the comfort of your own kitchen. You’ll learn about the iconic dish’s origins, its healthful benefits, and how to make and serve pho. You will also gain insights and history about Vietnamese culture. 

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