Ru

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Ru

by Kim Thuy
Translated by Sheila Fischman

Random House of Canada | September 6, 2012 | Trade Paperback

3.3333 out of 5 rating. 6 Reviews
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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 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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 160 pages, 3.15 × 2.12 × 0.19 in

Published: September 6, 2012

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307359719

ISBN - 13: 9780307359711

Kim Thúy’s Ru is nothing short of exquisite – a beautiful and lyrically written book that quietly takes your breath away. Born at the moment of the Tet offensive into South Vietnam, a girl begins her life in “the shadow of skies shot through with rockets and missiles”. At the time of her birth her mother still dreamed that her new daughter might be a scientist, a politician, or a musician, but those dreams were quickly and terrifyingly quashed. Thúy takes us gently along on her unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded, muddy refugee camp and finally to a new life in Quebec. We follow the girl’s story as she adapts to a foreign land, feels the embrace of a new community and revels in the chance to be part of the American dream. As an adult, she builds her family anew, never forgetting all that has passed, her reservoir of adaptiveness called upon again as she learns to shape her love around her younger son’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. Winner of the Governor General’s Award, Ru is at once a lullaby for Vietnam and a love letter to a new homeland.

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– More About This Product –

Ru

by Kim Thuy
Translated by Sheila Fischman

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 160 pages, 3.15 × 2.12 × 0.19 in

Published: September 6, 2012

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307359719

ISBN - 13: 9780307359711

Read from the Book

I came into the world during the Tet Offensive, in the early days of the Year of the Monkey, when the long chains of firecrackers draped in front of houses exploded polyphonically along with the sound of machine guns.   I first saw the light of day in Saigon, where firecrackers, fragmented into a thousand shreds, coloured the ground red like the petals of cherry blossoms or like the blood of the two million soldiers deployed and scattered throughout the villages and cities of a Vietnam that had been ripped in two.   I was born in the shadow of skies adorned with fireworks, decorated with garlands of light, shot through with rockets and missiles. The purpose of my birth was to replace lives that had been lost. My life’s duty was to prolong that of my mother. My name is Nguyen An Tịnh, my mother’s name is Nguyen An Tinh. My name is simply a variation on hers because a single dot under the i differentiates, distinguishes, dissociates me from her. I was an extension of her, even in the meaning of my name. In Vietnamese, hers means “peaceful environment” and mine “peaceful interior.” With those almost interchangeable names, my mother confirmed that I was the sequel to her, that I would continue her story.   The History of Vietnam, written with a capital H, thwarted my mother’s plans. History flung the accents on our names into the water when it took us across the Gulf of Siam thirty years ago. It also stripped our name
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From the Publisher

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 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.

About the Author

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

Sheila Fischman is the award-winning translator of some 150 contemporary novels from Quebec. In 2008 she was awarded the Molson Prize in the Arts. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and a chevalier de l''Ordre national du Québec. She lives in Montreal.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Heather’s Pick Winner 2011 – Grand prix littéraire Archambault Winner 2011 – Mondello Prize for Multiculturalism Winner 2010 – Prix du Grand Public Salon du livre––Essai/Livre pratique Winner 2010 – Governor General’s Award for Fiction (French-language) Winner 2010 – Grand Prix RTL- Lire at the Salon du livre de Paris Shortlist 2012 - Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist 2012 – Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation LONGLISTED 2013 – Man Asian Literary Prize LONGLISTED 2014 – International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award "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 “Gloriously, passionately, delicately unique….  A remarkable book; one that has well-earned every note of praise it has received.” — The Chronicle Journal   “Powerful and engaging.... In short entries that read lyrically and poetically—but also powerfully, pungently, and yet gently, dispassionately— Ru blends politics and history, celebration and violence within a young girl’s imaginative experience…. [I]ts hybri
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