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RU, Kim Thúy

Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 6:30pm


Kim is one of four authors short-listed for the 2018 New Academy Prize in Literature along with Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, and Maryse Condé.

Join East City Bookshop and Kim Thúy, author of Ru, for a reading, book talk and signing. Let us know you're coming on Facebook or at

Pre-order a copy of Ru to have signed at the reading.

Winner of the Governor General's Literary AwardWinner of the Grand Prix RTL-LireShortlisted for the Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie
Longlisted for Canada Reads 2015

At ten years old, Kim Thúy fled Vietnam on a boat with her family, leaving behind a grand house and the many less tangible riches of their home country: the ponds of lotus blossoms, the songs of soup-vendors. The family arrived in Quebec, where they found clothes at the flea market, and mattresses with actual fleas. Kim learned French and English, and as she grew older, seized what opportunities an immigrant could; she put herself through school picking vegetables and sewing clothes, worked as a lawyer and interpreter, and later as a restaurateur. She was married and a mother when the urge to write struck her, and she found herself scribbling words at every opportunity - pulling out her notebook at stoplights and missing the change to green. The story emerging was one of a Vietnamese émigré on a boat to an unknown future: her own story fictionalized and crafted into a stunning novel.

The novel's title, Ru, has meaning in both Kim's native and adoptive languages: in Vietnamese, ru is a lullaby; in French, a stream. And it provides the perfect name for this slim yet potent novel. With prose that soothes and sings, Ru weaves through time, flows and transports: a river of sensuous memories gathering power. It's a classic immigrant story told in a breathtaking new way.

Born in Saigon in 1968, Kim Thuy 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.

Ru: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608198986
Availability: Get It In 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - November 27th, 2012

Mãn Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345813800
Availability: Get It In 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Canada - July 7th, 2015