Born in Saigon in 1968, Kim Thúy left Vietnam with the boat people at the age of ten and settled with her family in Quebec. A graduate in translation and law, she has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer, restaurant owner, and commentator on radio and television. She lives in Montreal and devotes herself to writing.
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- “The deep subject of Vi is what Thúy calls “the invisible strength” of women, especially Vietnamese women, whose men, during the war, made a more obvious display of strength as soldiers” – In the Globe and Mail
- “The Thúy family experience forms the spine of her work, even though, in the writer’s retelling, the first stage was as painless as circumstances allowed: a fast voyage in good weather from Vietnam to the camp in Malaysia, with no pirates encountered” – In Maclean’s
- “In this, her fourth novel, the lyrical prose is so deeply personal that the reader feels it must be autobiographical and indeed it does follow closely the life of its author Kim Thúy, a Vietnamese-Canadian woman who escaped Vietnam at the end of the US/Vietnamese war as one of the boat people who made their way to Canada” – In the Millstone
- “Kim Thúy’s brief, beautiful book Vi probes the refugee narrative” – In the Toronto Star
The Vietnam War destroys the only life Vi – the daughter of an enterprising mother and a wealthy, spoiled father – has known. Vi, along with her mother and brothers, escapes – but her father stays behind, leaving a painful void as the rest of the family must make their way in Canada.
As a young woman, Vi finds the world opening up to her. Taken under the wing of Hà, a worldly family friend, and Hà’s diplomat lover, Vi tests personal boundaries and crosses international ones, letting the winds of life buffet her. Ever the quiet observer, she must find a way to finally take her place in the world.