The Best We Could Do

The Best We Could Do : An Illustrated Memoir

4.37 (9,200 ratings by Goodreads)
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AN ABA Indies Introduce Winter/ Spring 2017 Selection A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Spring 2017 Selection Now in paperback, this critically acclaimed and beautifully illustrated emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves. At the heart of Sui's story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first- time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent-the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home. In what Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls "a book to break your heart and heal it," The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Sui's journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 165 x 229 x 30.48mm | 703.07g
  • Abrams Comicarts
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 2-colour illustrations throughout
  • 1419718789
  • 9781419718786
  • 11,612

Review quote

"How much of ME is my own and how much is stamped into my blood and bone, predestined?" Posed at the end of Thi Bui's graphic memoir, this is the persistent, yearning question underlying this quietly heartbreaking book. Thi Bui chronicles her family's journey from Vietnam to America, as well as her own transformation from daughter to mother. Stunningly self-assured, this is epic, intimate history rendered in understated words and images" -- Kate Tuttle, Vulture `a masterpiece' -- Sara Farizan, The Boston Globe online "The book was by many accounts one of the best of 2017, weaving deeply personal stories together with the history and context required to fully understand them." -- Paste "..beautifully illustrated and emotional..." -- School Library Journal online "In The Best We Could Do, Bui poignantly depicts her parents' journey and struggle from war-torn Vietnam in comic form-and it's one book you can't miss." Medium

"This is a stunning graphic novel that is not only enjoyable but important. It's a memoir about Thi's story of immigration, family, and hardship. It is a book that proves yet again how powerful the graphic novel medium can be in creating empathy and understanding." Tillie Walden, author of On a Sunbeam'

"In telling the story of her childhood in the U.S. and, later, the birth of her son, Bui explores her relationship with her mother and father, reflecting on how their experiences shaped them as individuals." The Chicago Reader online

"...a cinematic epic, following several generations through the travails of immigration and emotional dislocation." PBS NewsHour Online

"The book delves as much into her family's history as it does Vietnam's; traumatic things her parents had seen as children and young adults in the years before and during the war... For now, she's reconciled her story with her parents' - and she says hopes her book can provide a starting point for others to do the same." All Things Considered, NPR
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About Thi Bui

Thi Bui was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States as a child. She studied art and law and thought about becoming a civil rights lawyer, but became a public school teacher instead. She lives in Berkeley with her son, her husband, and her mother. The Best We Could Do is her first graphic novel.
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Rating details

9,200 ratings
4.37 out of 5 stars
5 50% (4,600)
4 39% (3,555)
3 10% (929)
2 1% (85)
1 0% (31)
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