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From Saigon to Quebec: Kim Thuy

By Susan Harris

Kim Thuy was born into privilege in Saigon in 1968 and fled ten years later with her family. After a harrowing crossing in the hold of a fishing boat and a miserable stay in a Malaysian refugee camp, the family settled in Quebec. Thuy's Ru, from our May 2010 issue, recounts these experiences in poetic, evocative vignettes, each one a snapshot, a postcard from her journey. Thuy marvels at snow, discards Vietnamese for French and English, and struggles to live in the present without losing sight of the past.  "We did not know that only a country at peace could afford history classes," Thuy writes. "Elsewhere, people are too busy with their day-to-day survival to devote time to the writing of their shared story." In Ru, Thuy documents not only the history of the boat people, but the shared story of immigrants everywhere.

Published Apr 6, 2011   Copyright 2011 Susan Harris

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