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A book of rare beauty: Ru is a lullaby of Vietnam and a love letter to a new homeland. Was Radio 4 Book at Bedtime.

About the Author

Kim Thuy has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer and restaurant owner. She currently lives in Montreal where she devotes herself to writing.


Kim Thuy writes with equal delicacy and candor about a childhood marked by horrifying brutality, and the pleasures of ordinary peace. A brave and moving book, bringing lucid insight both to the costs of violence, and elusive processes of psychic survival. -- Eva Hoffman
This is an exemplary autobiographical novel. Never is there the slightest hint of narcissism or self pity. The major events in the fall of Vietnam are painted in delicate strokes, through the daily existence of a woman who has to reinvent herself elsewhere. A tragic journey described in a keen, sensitive and perfectly understated voice. -- Governor General's Literary Award jury citation
"Life is a struggle," runs a Vietnamese proverb, "in which sorrow leads to defeat." Thuy's fictionalised memoir adopts a similarly unsentimental attitude to a life of extremes. ... The accounts of escape and arrival are exciting, but Ru is more about observation and atmosphere ... Thuy's stories are poetic and powerful. -- James Smart * Guardian *
An elegant, lyrical flow of prose . . . It is a difficult, challenging and ultimately rewarding read from an author already at the top of her game. -- Billy O'Callaghan * Irish Examiner *
Striking -- Claire Armistead * Guardian *
Rendered in exquisite, unsentimental prose. Kim Thuy is a born storyteller, but she rewrites the traditional immigrant narrative in a completely new way, makes it whole and wondrous once more. * Jury Citation for the Gillier Prize Shortlist *

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