Kim Thúy was born in Saigon and came to Canada in 1979 at the age of 10.
Sensitively rendered in English by celebrated translator Sheila Fischman, Thúy’s novel originated with a French edition that won the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction in 2010 as well as a number of other prizes. 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 sons, 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.