The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi BuiThe Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir

byThi Bui

Hardcover | March 7, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$27.39 online 
$29.95 list price save 8%
Earn 137 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


National bestseller
ABA Indies Introduce Winter / Spring 2017 Selection
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Spring 2017 Selection

An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui
This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.
At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent—the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.
In what Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.
Thi Bui was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States as a child. She studied art and law and thought about becoming a civil rights lawyer, but became a public school teacher instead. Bui lives in Berkeley, California, with her son, her husband, and her mother. The Best We Could Do is her debut graphic novel.
Title:The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated MemoirFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 7 × 1.3 inPublished:March 7, 2017Publisher:Harry N. AbramsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1419718770

ISBN - 13:9781419718779

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommend! This beautiful and challenging book is a meditation on trauma and forgiveness. I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting from the safety of my sunny apartment in Ontario, Canada. The privilege I have as reader is both to be moved by Bui's work and to know that I will never fully understand it's depth. To say that this book deals with identity, loss, and migration is to miss the subtle nuances that Bui draws into each page. Her work is at once profound and personal.
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful! This is the first memoir I've ever read and I have to say it did not disappoint! I found it really interesting. The struggles this family went through to have a better life was something I have never read about before or even imagined people going through. I highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-08-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The best and more "The Best We Could Do" is both a very apt title for the year in general for many of us, and for this highly intimate graphic memoir of Thi Bui. She pours her heart into it, even learning how to do comics which is a big factor as to why this comes across so genuine in the message it was conveying. 'The best we can do' is undoubtedly a unifying theme in many immigrant stories. Unlike many immigrant stories which juxtaposes an old life left behind and a new life of assimilation to a new culture, Bui takes a unique approach in focusing predominantly on her Vietnamese heritage and family's history in context to Vietnam's period of turmoil, and of what significance that is to her as a new mother. Her Ma and Bo's background, and the utmost respect and love despite their strained relationships are shared with a brutal honestly and wide-eyed clarity. "The Best We Could Do" is such an emotionally engaging memoir and a very personal historical lesson that I'll never forget, especially when it leaves us with a hopeful future for the next generation.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful comic story filled with gorgeous art! The Best We Could Do is a stunning, truly impressive story written about a stunning family who I would love to meet and just have a chat about history with. Thi Bui is an amazing artist and writer, who, during the period of time I read every page, made me feel as someone more important than just a reader of her upcoming debut memoir. Her story is one in a million, although thousands and millions of citizens of her nation, Vietnam, encountered some similar events as her family, the Buis, had. On release day, March 7, 2017, take a visit to your local bookstore and support this electrifying story.
Date published: 2016-12-14

Editorial Reviews

"The Best We Could Do is a deeply American story, tapping into the national myth, however illusory, of freedom in new beginnings.”