Book Talk: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

Conversation and book signing with UCLA Common Book author Thi Bui

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Northwest Campus Auditorium
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095
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The Best We Could Do is an intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam from debut author Thi Bui.

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.

Thi Bui was born in Vietnam three months before the end of the Vietnam War, and came to the United States in 1978 as part of the "boat people" wave of refugees from Southeast Asia. Her debut graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do (Abrams ComicArts, March 2017) has been selected as both an Indies Introduce and Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers title. She is the illustrator of A Different Pond, a children’s book by Bao Phi (Capstone, August 2017). Thi taught high school in New York City and was a founding teacher of Oakland International High School, the first public high school in California for recent immigrants and English learners. She currently teaches in the MFA in Comics program at the California College of the Arts. She lives in Berkeley with her son, her husband and her mother.


Nguyet Tong
(310) 206-9163
ntong@international.ucla.edu

Sponsor(s): , Asian American Studies Center, First Year Experience & Common Book