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The Best We Could Do (Abrams ComicArts), by Thi Bui

Mar. 7, 2017
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Many immigrant stories are harrowing, involving flight from dangerous places and surmounting the obstacles found upon arrival in America. Thi Bui transformed hers graphic novel-style into an “illustrated memoir.” The Best We Could Do is a handsome, hardbound paean to family that begins with the birth of the author’s first child. “A wave of empathy for my mother washes over me,” she says before recounting the generational and cultural barriers between them. Bui was born in Saigon in 1975, the year South Vietnam fell to the Communists. The story she tells is beautifully illustrated and thoughtful; the hopscotching across time and continents is sometimes off-putting but seems to follow the author’s own path toward recovering a past that included outbursts of prejudice against Vietnamese and the frustrations of her parents, “fully formed in another time and place to which they could never go back.” 

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