An Eastern Townships author has won Canada Reads! Kim Thúy’s poetic book Ru (originally written in French and translated into English by Sheila Fischman) won this year’s CBC Canada Reads: One Book To Break Barriers. The novel “traces a young woman’s journey from to her home in Saigon during the Vietnam War, to a crowded Malaysian refugee camp and then to Quebec, where she struggles to fit in.”
The book has certain true-life elements – Kim Thúy is an immigrant whose family settled in Granby when she was 10 years old. From a recent CBC profile: “She and her fellow Vietnamese refugees hadn’t been able to wash properly for months. They had skin infections and lice in their hair. But the people of Granby rushed to embrace them. ‘There was not one moment of hesitation to say, ‘Who are these people?’ or ‘Should we touch them or not?’,’ said Kim Thúy, as she has come to be known in her adopted homeland.
“‘And their eyes, the way they looked at us. I had never been that beautiful in my life. And I have never been as beautiful again.’”
Kim Thúy now lives in Montreal.
– March 27, 2015