Ru, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Ru: In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow - of tears, blood, money.

Kim Thuy'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 Quebec.

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.


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Review by

This is quite a different approach to fiction. The chapters are only 1 - 2 pages long. The style is very poetic. The author recounts her life in Vietnam before she and her wealthy family flee the country as boat people. They end up in Montreal where they eke out a living as new immigrants.

Review by

Best Canadian FictionUnique format may be a bit challenging to adapt to be this poetic novel weaves a tale that is memorable. Her writing immediately awakens images of faraway places.A must read.

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