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Ru
by Kim Thuy and Sheila Fischman


Overview -

Winner of the Governor General's Literary AwardWinner of the Grand Prix RTL-LireShortlisted for the Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie
Longlisted for Canada Reads 2015

At ten years old, Kim Thuy fled Vietnam on a boat with her family, leaving behind a grand house and the many less tangible riches of their home country: the ponds of lotus blossoms, the songs of soup-vendors.  Read more...


 
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More About Ru by Kim Thuy; Sheila Fischman
 
 
 
Overview

Winner of the Governor General's Literary AwardWinner of the Grand Prix RTL-LireShortlisted for the Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie
Longlisted for Canada Reads 2015

At ten years old, Kim Thuy fled Vietnam on a boat with her family, leaving behind a grand house and the many less tangible riches of their home country: the ponds of lotus blossoms, the songs of soup-vendors. The family arrived in Quebec, where they found clothes at the flea market, and mattresses with actual fleas. Kim learned French and English, and as she grew older, seized what opportunities an immigrant could; she put herself through school picking vegetables and sewing clothes, worked as a lawyer and interpreter, and later as a restaurateur. She was married and a mother when the urge to write struck her, and she found herself scribbling words at every opportunity - pulling out her notebook at stoplights and missing the change to green. The story emerging was one of a Vietnamese emigre on a boat to an unknown future: her own story fictionalized and crafted into a stunning novel.

The novel's title, "Ru," has meaning in both Kim's native and adoptive languages: in Vietnamese, "ru" is a lullaby; in French, a stream. And it provides the perfect name for this slim yet potent novel. With prose that soothes and sings, "Ru "weaves through time, flows and transports: a river of sensuous memories gathering power. It's a classic immigrant story told in a breathtaking new way."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781608198986
  • ISBN-10: 1608198987
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Publish Date: November 2012
  • Page Count: 141


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Biographical
Books > Fiction > Cultural Heritage
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-09-17
  • Reviewer: Staff

Rendered in spare vignettes, Kim’s lyrical debut novel is an autobiographical impression of motherhood and exile. Forced to flee their privileged, intellectual life in Communist Saigon, Nguyen An Tinh (an “extension” of her almost identically named mother and a stand-in for Thúy), born during the Tet offensive, navigates the Gulf of Siam bound for a Malaysian refugee camp, where she and her family live for several months before making their way to Canada. There, Nguyen is blinded by the whiteness of the snow and the blankness of her slate. But her new home quickly makes its marks—she learns French and English, what to wear in the harsh Quebecois winters, and the ways in which the American dream extends its reach around the globe. The narrative wanders through time as Nguyen mourns her autistic son’s inability to say maman, recalls her childhood in Vietnam, and muses on the fork in her family tree that her life in the West represents. But like the married men Nguyen prefers, whose “ring fingers with their histories keep me remote, aloof, in the shadows,” the disjointed narrative keeps readers at a distance, allowing tender glimpses of Nguyen’s pain, but never fully exposing her. Agent: Ron Eckel, Cooke Agency. (Nov.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews