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One eRead Canada

January 27 2021

Join One eRead Canada, the first national, bilingual (English and French) digital eBook club featuring the exquisite and celebrated novel Vi by Kim Thúy.

From January 1 through January 31, 2021, library cardholders can download a copy of Vi, in eBook or eAudio format from OverDrive, with no waitlists or limits on number of copies borrowed. To find other materials mentioned in the attached lists please visit OverDrive or TRAC for physical copies, selection may vary.

This initiative is supported by CULC (Canadian Urban Libraries Council).

Connect online! Discuss the book. On January 19 and 20, a live author event with Kim Thúy, one in French and one in English, available on the Facebook Group page.

OverDrive | TRACpac


Kim Thúy’s Favourite Books

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

L'amant by Marguerite Duras

On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Le mode d'emploi by Georges Perec

Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neil

Soie by Alessandro Barrico

Dien Bien Phu by Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe


Kim Thúy’s Other Works

Ru (2009)

À toi (2011), co-written with Pascal Janovjak

Mãn (2013)

Vi (2016)

Le secret des Vietnamiennes (2017)

Secrets from My Vietnamese Kitchen (2017)

Em (2020)


Author Read a Likes by Vancouver Public Library

Kim Thúy draws inspiration from her own past to write a moving novel of a family who flees Vietnam during the war. While Thúy’s book can be classed as refugee literature, it is also much more. Vi is an evocative love letter to Vietnam and family, a window into Canadian society, and a coming-of-age tale where a girl grows up to shed expectations and become her own person. Short and lyrical, Vi’s story is divided into page-long episodes that will read quickly. Carefully selected by the reading specialists at Vancouver Public Library.

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

Bui writes a captivating graphic novel memoir of her family’s life before, during and after the Vietnam war. Just like Vi, Bui’s family flees Vietnam and spends time in a Malaysian refugee camp before making their way to North America.

Older Sister.  Not Necessarily Related by Jenny Heijun Wills

While "Vi" is about flight from a war-torn country and homecoming years later, "Older Sister" is a memoir about another type of leaving—international adoption. The exploration of family history and feelings of displacement and doubt are strong themes in both books.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

In this lyrical novel, Little Dog grows up with a mother damaged by the Vietnam War. Semi-autobiographical like "Vi", Vuong explores the burden of memory and how it acts on the parent-child relationship.

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Powerful short stories from a Pulitzer Prize-winning author from the point of view of refugees abroad as well as those who never left home.

The Return by Dany Laferrière

A short novel from another author who, like Thúy, fled his country (Haiti) and settled in Quebec. Laferrière returns to Haiti, and muses on loss and exile in prose and poetry.

Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale

Although written for children, this is an excellent book for all ages, with informative text and poignant graphics that feature “boat people” around the world. The personal accounts and words of real people highlight the horrific conditions that refugees endure in order to escape danger in their home countries.

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

Like "Vi", "The Tiger’s Wife" is as much about the story of one’s forebears as it is about the protagonist. In the war-torn Balkans, Natalia searches out the truth in the superstitions that revolve around her recently deceased grandfather. While "Vi" is rooted in reality, "The Tiger’s Wife" is magical realism.

Vietnamese Memories by Clément Baloup

In this graphic novel, Baloup celebrates the lives of Vietnamese people who left their country at great risk and established a thriving community in France.


Refugee Literature

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir - Thi Bui

Between Shades of Gray - Ruta Sepetys

The Boat People - Sharon Bala

Call Me American -  Abdi Nor Iftin

City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp - Ben Rawlence

Crossing -y Pajtim Statovci

The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives – Viet Thanh Nguyen

Enrique’s Journey - Sonia Nazario

Exit West - Mohsin Hamid

The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life - Lauren Markham

The Girl Who Smiled Beads - Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil

House of the Mosque - Kader Abdolah

In the Midst of Winter - Isabel Allende

In the Sea There Are Crocodiles - Fabio Geda

Incendies - Wajdi Mouawad

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes - Atia Abawi

Love Thy Neighbor - Ayaz Virji, M.D. and Alan Eisenstock

Mehr Meer - Ilma Rakusa 

The Monk of Mokha - Dave Eggers

The Night Diary - Veera Hiranandani

No Friend But the Mountains - Behrouz Boochani

Once They Had a Country: Two Teenage Refugees in the Second World War - Muriel R. Gillick 

Patriot Number One - Lauren Hilgers

The Refugee - Viet Thanh Nguyen

Refugee - Alan Gratz

Sea Prayer – Khaled Hosseini

Senselessness - Horacio Castellanos Moya 

Sweetness in the Belly - Camilla Gibb

Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina - Michaela DePrince

A Time of Miracles - Anne-Laure Bondoux 

The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You - Dina Nayeri

To Stop a Warlord - Shannon Sedgwick Davis

Ulysses from Bagdad - Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

Vahid - Kristian Husted. 

What Is the What - Dave Eggers

When the Rain Clouds Gather - Bessie Head

Where Will I Live? -  Rosemary McCarney

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