Ru by Kim Thúyby Kim Thúy

Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (November 27, 2012)
ISBN: 978-1608198986

At ten years old, Kim Thúy 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 émigré 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. —

About the authorKim Thúy

Kim Thúy (born 1968 in Saigon, Vietnam) is a Canadian writer, whose debut novel Ru won the Governor General’s Award for French language fiction (2010) and, translated into English by Sheila Fischman, was shortlisted for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2013 First Novel Award.

Thúy spent her early childhood in Vietnam before fleeing with her parents as boat people and settling in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil. She has degrees in law, linguistics, and translation from the Université de Montréal. — Wikipedia

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