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The Magic Fish af Trung Le Nguyen

The Magic Fish (original 2020; udgave 2020)

af Trung Le Nguyen (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
15214139,992 (4.39)1
Titel:The Magic Fish
Forfattere:Trung Le Nguyen (Forfatter)
Info:Random House Graphic (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 256 pages

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The Magic Fish af Trung Le Nguyen (2020)


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Viser 1-5 af 14 (næste | vis alle)
*reviewed from uncorrected ARC - via #netgalley

diverse middlegrade/teen graphic novel, #ownvoices bilingual Vietnamese-American family and LGBTQAI interest
Beautiful art tells the story of 13 y.o. Tiến, a sweet kid who is close with his parents but doesn't quite know how to tell them he's gay. The story alternates between fairy tales (including a Vietnamese Cinderella tale that is as grisly as the Grimm version), Tiến's secret crush on his friend, and his mother's experiences as a refugee and immigrant.
Don't miss the backmatter, "Between Words and Pictures," which explains why the princess illustrations appear to be so westernized at first (that is probably how Tiến would have imagined them), as well as the real life inspirations behind Princess Alera's magnificent gowns (Callot Soeurs/Poiret, Givenchy/Dior, Christian Lacroix/Franck Sorbier) and other decisions the author made with the art and story. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
This story focuses on a boy named Tien who is raised in America. His mother is an immigrant from Vietnam, and is working with Tien to learn English. Tien speaks Vietnamese at home, but speaks English when he is out in the world. The story includes multiple different fairy tales, and this fairy tales help Tien learn more about his past and the generations that came before him. Tien is also trying to come out to his parents that he likes his best friend, Julian. However, he is having a hard time translating, gay, into Vietnamese.
  Jessica0614 | Jun 3, 2021 |
Beautiful, thoughtful read. First, the artwork is absolutely stunning, from the character design to their expressions and outfits, the colour-coding, and panel layout. The graphic novel is worth it just for the art.

But beyond this, it’s a poweful story, told with an intricate, intelligent combination of image and word. I was sold on it thinking it was about a young Vietnamese immigrant trying to make his coming out. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the narrative also centers Helen’s (who is the mother of the main character, Tiến) experience and emotions. It recontextualizes the coming out narrative, and speaks to the idea that it’s not a unilateral event in one’s life. Tiến is close to his family, especially his mother, and her own experience as an immigrant is being taken into account in relation to Tiến’s desire to affirm his identity. I feel like this will be relatable for the children of Asian immigrants and immigrants in general.

The way in which Tiến’s story, Helen’s story and her past, and the fairy tales are interwoven shows a real mastery of the form of the graphic novel. I loved how the themes of migration, queerness, memory, and the stories we tell are discussed, and how the accompanying feelings of guilt, displacement, alienation, and ultimately love and empathy are parsed in the book.

I’m also a sucker for reading about an artist’s creative process... so the notes at the end, which offer a glimpse into Trung Le Nguyen’s thoughts, research, and sources for inspiration just made me admire the work more!!!

This is the kind of book to which I’ll go back and keep on finding find new things to love!!! ( )
  lochinb | Jun 3, 2021 |
Gorgeous artwork, just beautiful. I loved that this was the mother’s story as much as the son’s. Some of the fairytales get bloody, and it seems there’s always someone hating in the wings haha. While Tiến’s friends are accepting of him being gay, he’s terrified to tell his parents, especially his mom. There’s not even a word for it in his language, so he bridges the gap through fairytales.

Definitely read the author’s note at the end. I’ve never thought of the Little Mermaid being like an immigrant’s tale, but, now, I can see the connection.

While I enjoyed reading this, it felt either abrupt or unfinished. I can’t really describe it.

( )
  DestDest | May 14, 2021 |
Every night Tiến reads fairy tales to his mother to help her with her English. The Cinderella and Little Mermaid tales weave in among Tiến's and his mother's stories: Tiến is gay but hasn't come out to his parents because he doesn't know the Vietnamese words to express himself. Hiến, his mother, was a refugee; now, back home, her mother is ailing and she longs to go back and see her again. The fairy tales' transformation themes echo the transformative and loving shift in relationship between mother and son. An enchanted and grounded work. ( )
  Salsabrarian | May 6, 2021 |
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