By Thi Bui.
“Being my father’s child I too was a product of war..” This is the debut graphic novel by Thi Bui and in it she explores the history of her family’s day to day life in war torn Vietnam and their escape by boat in 1978, first to a refugee camp in Malaysia, and eventually to America. The poetic narration moves easily between the present when Bui is becoming a mother and her family’s past. There are no easy answers to be found as she traces “our journey in reverse, over the ocean and through the years” “seeking an origin story that will put everything right”. The honesty with which she lays bare her family story of conflicts and aspirations makes this an emotional and compelling read. It is a story about the strength of family and parenthood, as well as the story about the impact of war and the sense of displacement that refugees face. Thi Bui hadn’t worked on the medium of comics before and says with a great understatement of her powerful and lyrical artwork that “I learned to do comics working on this book. I had to draw a lot of bad pictures before making something that felt right”
“Thi Bui’s book took my breath away” Craig Thompson author and illustrator of “Blankets” and “Habibi”
Published by Abramscomicarts March 2017 hardback.