RU is written by Kim Thuy and journals her life from the Vietnam war, to a Malaysian refugee camp, and then eventually to Montreal, Quebec. Her writing style is utterly unique and unlike anything you’ve read before as it’s poetic, lyrical, comedic, tragic and poignant.
Her writing makes you realize what a novice you are at the English language. She is talented beyond belief. It’s exquisite, it’s enchanting, and it’s so very brave.
Less is more….pages are left emptied, yet full with the beauty of her words and her story. She does more in half a paragraph then lesser writers do with a chapter.
I especially like the actual textual feel of the book. I’m old school so I still purchase all my books in an actual book format, not e-Books. I love the extra flap that you can use as a bookmark. I love the feel of the recycled pages and even where the page numbers are positioned (upper right hand side, but not top of page).
This book has won more awards than I can list here. So, take my word for it.
Suffice to say I had to read it twice, immediately one after another, hoping that my own book, my own words would resonate so poetically as hers. Hoping to one day to see my work in a bookstore like hers.
Here are some of my favorite phrases, sentences, wording….
I first saw the light of day in Saigon, where firecrackers, fragmented into a thousand shreds, coloured the ground red like the petals of cherry blossoms or like the blood of the two million soldiers deployed and scattered throughout the villages and cities of a Vietnam that had been ripped in two. (page 1).
We were frozen in fear, by fear…..we were numb, imprisoned by the shoulders of some, the legs of others, the fear of everyone. We were paralyzed. (page 5)
Already, I am defeated, stripped bare, beaten down. (page 7).
I never had any questions except the one about the moment when I could die. I should have chosen the moment before the arrival of my children, for since then I’ve lost the option of dying…..my children have given me the exclusive power to blow on a wound to make the pain disappear, to understand words unpronounced, to possess the universal truth, to be a fairy. A fairy smitten with the way they smell. (page 113).
Between sips of tea he whispered: “It stirs my soul.” (page 114)
I could go on and on. I love this book.