As part of the series of occasional conversations with other writers, C.M. Mayo talks with Sara Mansfield Taber, author of the memoir Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy's Daughter. For Taber, growing up in Taiwan, Japan, Washington DC, the Netherlands, and Borneo was tough as well as exotic, and she found the experience even more unsettling because, as she learned at fifteen, she was the daughter of a covert CIA agent. In this lyrical memoir, Taber captures the painful journey as she ― and her adored father ― struggle to understand who they are and what it means to be an American. The conversation ranges from her father's work in Asia, including his daring rescue of over a thousand Vietnamese after the fall of Vietnam to the Vietcong, and his disenchantment with the agency while working in Germany; Taber's childhood in Taiwan, highschool years in Washington DC during the Vietnam War; her previous books, including, Bread of Three Rivers and Dusk on the Campo; other travel writers, reading as a writer; writing practice, and teaching writing. Visit Sara Taber at www.sarataber.com
The sensory and emotional detail of this memoir is as delicately wrought as bone china, yet saved from fragility by Sara Taber’s uncompromising journey deeper and deeper inward with every page...a beautiful, mysterious, and unexpectedly suspenseful story of the struggle to find a place in the world.
-William O’Sullivan, features editor, The Washingtonian Magazine
Sara Mansfield Taber has worked magic with this intoxicating memoir of her exotic childhood. With a child’s innocence and sensitivity, Sara composes her family’s haunting story, stroke by exquisitely beautiful stroke. This vibrant family portrait of love and heart-ache also reveals much about America—our passion, confusion, contradictions, and especially, the tragedy we bring upon the world despite our very best intentions.
-Mary Stucky, National Public Radio