"RU IS KIM THÚY'S VERY FIRST BOOK. IT TELLS THE EXILE, THE BOAT PEOPLE, THE CAMPS AND HER ARRIVAL IN QUEBEC. IT'S A PUNCH AT EVERY PAGE. BECAUSE BEHIND THE WORDS, THERE ARE KIM'S SILENCES. HEAVY, DEAFENING, SO PRESENT. RU IS THAT LITTLE NET OF WATER THAT NOBODY TAKES CARE OF. A NET WHICH, AT THE BEND OF A PATH, WITHOUT PREVIEWING, BECOMES A RIVER BEFORE OFFERING ITSELF, WITH MAJESTY, TO THE LARGER STREAM THAT WILL WELCOME IT.
RU IS KIM.
THE STREAM... IS QUEBEC. "
- Jean-Michel Lhomme
Ru. In Vietnamese it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow—of tears, blood, money. Kim Thúy’s Ru is literature at its most crystalline: the flow of a life on the tides of unrest and on to more peaceful waters. Written with piercing clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, Ru carries us on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new beginning in Quebec. Moving seamlessly from past to present, from history to memory and back again, Ru is a book that celebrates life in all its wonder: its moments of beauty and sensuality, brutality and sorrow, comfort and comedy.
Awards and Accolades
2015 Winner – Canada Reads
2014 Winner – Ambassadors of Francophone Countries Literary Award (Denmark)
2011 Winner – Mondello Prize for Multiculturalism (Italy)
2011 Winner – Archambault Literary Awards – People’s Choice Award
2010 Winner – People’s Choice Award, Montreal Book Fair
2010 Winner – Governor General’s Literary Award
2010 Winner – Grand Prix RTL-Lire, Paris Book Fair (France)
2018 Shortlist – The New Academy Prize in Literature (The Alternative Nobel)
2012 Shortlist – Scotiabank Giller Prize (Canada)
2012 Shortlist – Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation
2010 Shortlist – Prix des cinq continents de la francophonie Award (international)
2010 Shortlist – Prix Premire Award (Belgium)
2010 Shortlist – Prix Ouest-France Étonnants Voyageurs Award (France)
2010 Shortlist – Prince Pierre de Monaco Foundation Discovery Grant
2012 Longlist – Man Asian Literary Prize
2014 Longlist – International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2012 Nominee – Amazon.ca First Novel Award
Bestseller in Quebec (Renaud-Bray, Archambault and Le Devoir charts)
National bestseller in Canada (Maclean’s, BookNet Canada)
CBC Books Canadian Writer to Watch in 2012
Chapters Indigo bookstores – Heather’s Pick in 2012
BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime Pick (Readings from modern classics, new works by leading writers and literature from around the world) in June 2012
Top 10 of Quebec submissions, 2013 Canada Reads