Ly Tran was born in Viet Nam and came to America at the age of three in 1993 with her older brothers and parents through the U.S. Orderly Departure Program called Humanitarian Operations. Soon after they arrived, Ly joins her parents and three older brothers sewing ties and cummerbunds in their apartment to make ends meet. She grew up in Queens, New York, living just below the poverty line while her parents struggled to financially support the family. Ly found herself lost in the inherited trauma of her father’s PTSD, who served in the South Viet Nam army and was a prisoner of war in Viet Nam for almost a decade. When Ly was eight, she needed glasses but her father convinced her the diagnosis of poor vision was a government conspiracy. His frightening temper and paranoia left a mark on Ly’s sense of self. It was through writing her first novel, a memoir, House of Sticks, that Ly found the courage to confront her past.