Kim Thúy

Ru, 2012 Longlist

Translated by Sheila Fischman

Photo Credit: Sarah Scott

Award-winning author Kim Thúy has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer and restaurant owner. She was born in Vietnam in 1968 and currently lives in Montréal, Québec with her husband and two sons where she now devotes herself to writing full-time.

Ru: In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow - of tears, blood, money. Kim Thúy’s Ru is literature at its most crystalline: the flow of a life on the tides of unrest and on to more peaceful waters. In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Québec. There, the young girl feels the embrace of a new community, and revels in the chance to be part of the American Dream. 

As an adult, the waters become rough again: now a mother of two, she must learn to shape her love around the younger boy’s autism. Moving seamlessly from past to present, from history to memory and back again, Ru is a book that celebrates life in all its wonder: its moments of beauty and sensuality, brutality and sorrow, comfort and comedy.


Clerkenwell Press, Profile Books

Buy Ru online