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The best we could do : an illustrated memoir…
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The best we could do : an illustrated memoir (original 2017; udgave 2017)

af Thi Bui

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
7304523,002 (4.22)94
National bestseller 2017 National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Finalist ABA Indies Introduce Winter / Spring 2017 Selection Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Spring 2017 Selection ALA 2018 Notable Books Selection An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family's journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui.   This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.   At the heart of Bui's story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent--the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.   In what Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls "a book to break your heart and heal it," The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui's journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.… (mere)
Medlem:Brainannex
Titel:The best we could do : an illustrated memoir
Forfattere:Thi Bui
Info:New York : Abrams Comicarts, 2017.
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:2017-03, lead-female, adult, graphic-novel, vietnam, historical, memoir

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The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir af Thi Bui (2017)

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In 1978 three-year-old Thi Bui and her family fled Vietnam and became one of the hundreds of thousands of ″boat people″ seeking asylum in other countries. Her memoir, in graphic novel form, is both a family history and a glimpse of how becoming a mother influenced her understanding of that history. Her illustrations are stark and entirely in orange and black, well-suited to a war setting.

The book begins factually, with the birth of her son, and ends philosophically with a reflection on what she has learned as both a daughter and a mother. In between are the stories she learned from each of her parents about their childhoods, as well as their life together as they try to build a family amongst the war and its aftermath. The things they lived through are horrible, as are the life-long effects of the trauma. That trauma is shared by the children of the survivors both directly and indirectly.

The first graphic novel in which I encountered the multi-generational effects of wartime trauma is [Maus] by Art Spiegelman. In it he recounts not only the experiences of his parents at Auschwitz, but also the effect that weighty history had on how he was raised and his uneasy relationship with that history. Similarly Bui wrestles with the stories she has heard from her parents and siblings, and how those stories have influenced her identity.

The structure of the book is confusing in places, as the author moves recursively through time from various perspectives and her extended family moved repeatedly as their political alliances changed and the war surged. But I think it adds to the feeling that this is almost an oral history that Bui has attempted to capture and recount. The book was widely acclaimed when it was published in 2017, and she has since gone on to collaborate with Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of [The Sympathizer], on a children′s book. ( )
  labfs39 | Jun 21, 2021 |
This is like my story! I was at that same refugee camp with my family maybe a few months earlier! Clearest escape/refugee story I have read yet. The art gives Space/time to deal with some of the heavy stuff. Fast, easy read- one sitting for me ( )
  huyen | Apr 27, 2021 |
A wonderfully constructed story of Thi Bui's family history and refugee story that brings a lot of the context to the "boat people"'s escape from Vietnam. ( )
  laze | Apr 12, 2021 |
How do you understand your place in the world? Thi Bui's memoir traces her story and those of her family, their lives in Vietnam, as refugees, and in the US. Illustrated with expressive lines and tones of orange, Bui's story sometimes crackles with tension and aches with pain and loss, but looks at all of it with the understanding and tenderness borne out of her unflinching willingness to look deeply and find her truth. ( )
  TAPearson | Feb 25, 2021 |
Beautifully crafted, Thi Bui's memoir doesn't shy away from the complexity of her family background but also doesn't overload it with overly academic side notes. Really stunning. ( )
  RachellErnst | Jan 5, 2021 |
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National bestseller 2017 National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Finalist ABA Indies Introduce Winter / Spring 2017 Selection Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Spring 2017 Selection ALA 2018 Notable Books Selection An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family's journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui.   This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.   At the heart of Bui's story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent--the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.   In what Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls "a book to break your heart and heal it," The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui's journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.

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