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Book Talk with Thi Bui

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Eastwind Books of Berkeley

2066 University Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94704

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Eastwind Books of Berkeley: Book Talk with Thi Bui.

Thi Bui discusses her debut graphic novel, The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir, and the recently released A Different Pond by Bao Phi with illustrations by Thi Bui.

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir

The Best We Could Do is an intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam. This beautifully illustrated and 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 Bui’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 Bui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.

A Different Pond

Acclaimed poet Bao Phi delivers a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son and between cultures, old and new. A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event a long-ago fishing trip. As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father's long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. The New York Times has said that Bao Phi s poetry rhymes with the truth. Together with graphic novelist Thi Bui's striking, evocative art, Phi s expertly crafted prose reflects an immigrant family making its way in a new home while honoring its bonds to the past.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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. Bui lives in Berkeley, California, with her son, her husband, and her mother. The Best We Could Do is her debut graphic novel.

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Eastwind Books of Berkeley

2066 University Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94704

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