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Ru

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  11,060 ratings  ·  1,268 reviews
Une femme voyage à travers le désordre des souvenirs : l'enfance dans sa cage d'or à Saigon, l'arrivée du communisme dans le Sud-Vietnam apeuré, la fuite dans le ventre d'un bateau au large du golfe de Siam, l'internement dans un camp de réfugiés en Malaisie, les premiers frissons dans le froid du Québec. Récit entre la guerre et la paix, ru dit le vide et le trop-plein, l ...more
Paperback, 145 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Libre expression
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Anh Ha Their names differ by one tone. The mother's name is Nguyễn An Tĩnh, and the narrator's name is Nguyễn An Tịnh. The pronunciation is virtually…moreTheir names differ by one tone. The mother's name is Nguyễn An Tĩnh, and the narrator's name is Nguyễn An Tịnh. The pronunciation is virtually identical but for the tone. The meanings are also very similar, both denoting peace, quiet, tranquility, but the author's name has more of a connotation of inner peace, whereas the mother's name is more an environmental peace.(less)

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3.75  · 
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 ·  11,060 ratings  ·  1,268 reviews


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Brina
I read Ru by Kim Thuy as part of my Women's History Month lineup in 2017. Thuy is a Vietnamese immigrant to Canada who has worked as a seamstress and lawyer. Ru is an autobiographical fictional account about a Vietnamese girl's experiences before and and after immigrating to Canada. This slim novel won the Governor's Award for best French literature in 2010 and is Thuy's first novel.

Growing up in the United States, one learns of the many sides of the Vietnam war. One side students do not learn
...more
Jen
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
RU translated in Vietnamese means lullaby. This was a poetic and beautiful short narrative with some very sad moments in the life of Ru, a young girl, who immigrated from Vietnam to Canada. The hardships that were taken to get here was a cost itself, but shedding the Vietnamese cloak of culture which defined her people, truly was a stripping of one's identity.
The heartache of leaving what you know, however twisted and sadistic it was, and being turned around in different directions trying to re
...more
Jaline
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This book was originally published in French in 2009, the English translation by Sheila Fischman was published in 2012, and it received the Governor General’s Literary Award 2010. Ru was also shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2012, it received the Governor General’s Award for French to English translation in 2012, and the 2013 Amazon.ca First Novel Award. In addition, it won the CBC ‘Canada Reads’ competition in 2015.

The word “ru” holds a wealth of meaning in both French and Vietnam
...more
Sue
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bio-memoir readers, Asian hx and culture readers
Kim Thuy has created a very different fictionalized memoir based in her past growing up in Saigon , living a life of privilege until that city's fall. Then the story changes to deprivation, re-education, escape, the new, cold world of Canada. She has chosen an unusual format for this book, a series of one and two page vignettes from her life, not in order of occurrence but some order that is internally important to the author and protagonist.

The writing is wonderful (my over-used, fall back word
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Ru, Kim Thuy, Elmira Pouyamehr (translator)
First published in French in 2009. The story is told by a first-person narrative. The novel tells the tale of a woman, An Tinh Nguyen, born in Saigon in 1968, during the Tet Offensive who immigrates to Canada with her family as a child.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و پنجم ماه آوریل سال 2016 میلادی
عنوان: لالایی؛ نویسنده: کیم توی؛ مترجم: المیرا پویامهر؛ تهران، کوله پشتی، 1395؛ در 136 ص؛ شابک: 9786007642879؛ موضوع: پناهندگان ویتنام - سده 21 م
رمان برتر سال
...more
Friederike Knabe
Finished it in one go. A totally absorbing memoir/reflection on life in Vietnam, escape with the boat people, finding something like a home but not really in Quebec... Unusual in structure, rich in imagery, the interconnected vignettes paint a portrait of the heroine, her family, her country and what it means to be connected and uprooted at the same time.

Towards the end of the book, looking back on her earlier life, the narrator muses "...after only thirty years I already recognize our old selv
...more
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
I loved everything about this book except for the content. I liked the cover design and the gorgeous hand cut feel of it. I even liked the font. Ru by Kim Thúy But as you can see this cover states; Ru a novel by Kim Thuy. For me the ideal novel has development, a plot and conclusion. This slim volume doesn't. These are literary fragments beautifully written and no doubt at least partly autobiographical but they are still fragments. My interest was high at the start but went downhill faster than an Olympic go ...more
Angela M
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A small book with a big impact . The story of a Vietnamese immigrant told in short journal like entries . It moves from past to present and back again as the narrator tells of how she and her extended family lose their life of comfort and find refuge in Canada . The stories are moving , heartbreaking at times but ultimately an uplifting story of family and love. Beautifully written!
Cheryl
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in lifting the veil
"Ru. In Vietnamese, it means lullaby; in French it is a small stream, but also signifies a flow--of tears, blood, money." Memory is universal, as is the disenchantment of exile. Try to explain the psychological disentanglement of oneself from the exiled land and culture, and there will still be some confusion. In order to survive, one must not glance back too often, otherwise one risks turning into a pillar of salt. Yet this part is not televised, this psychological inhibition not seen in too ma ...more
Sharon Metcalf
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Ru is a fictionalised memoir based upon the real life experiences of author Kim Thuy. Told in brief passages, sometimes no longer than a sentence, her words were carefully selected and they packed a powerful punch. Her reflections and memories painted vivid pictures. Collectively they became an exhibition of her life experiences from a young girl in war torn Vietnam, her family's escape by sea, their time in a Malaysian refugee camp, their introduction to life in Quebec, learning to assimilate a ...more
Cathrine ☯️
4+★
“Stories to keep alive the memory of a slice of history that will never be taught in any school.”

Ru is a fictionalized version of the authors own experience as a Vietnamese émigré and it just might be the best of its kind that I’ve read. It is told via a small collection of journal-like entries that weave back and forth between Saigon, a refugee camp in Malaysia, and the final destination of Québec with beautiful and unsentimental prose. Much was communicated in very few words and none of the
...more
Lisa
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Refugees. It's a word we hear so often these days, amidst massive geopolitical tremors that conceal countless very personal tales of dislocation and desperation. How many refugees should we let in? 200? 25,000? 1,000,000? Infinity?

Nguyễn An Tịnh is a refugee. One. She recalls small kindnesses, gestures from neighbours and attempts at communication, simple things from those first moments. This whole book is a series of fragments lifted from Vietnam, Quebec, and elsewhere, strung together piecemea
...more
Kim
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Until I was more than halfway through this book, I thought I was reading a memoir. That's my fault, because the blurb on the back and the information about the book on the Goodreads book page makes it clear that it's fiction, albeit autobiographical fiction. This fact slipped my mind at some point between acquiring the book and starting to read.

Like the author, the narrator of the work is a Canadian woman of Vietnamese origin, whose family settled in Canada as refugees. I particularly like the
...more
Julie
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is less of a novel and more of a . . . mood? A stream-of-consciousness recalling of memories? It's the debut novel for the writer, Kim Thuy (2009), and it's obvious she's a gifted imagist and has a strong knack for summarizing an event using very few words.

I'd like to read more from her, but this particular little novel didn't have quite enough meat on its bones for me.
Shaghayegh
اولين كتابي بود راحب ويتانام ميخوندم،تا يه حد كمي تونست اطلاعاتي بهم بده راحب جنگ ويتنام ولي خب كم بود.بنظرم معمولي بود زيادي ديگه سعي كرده بود هنري طور كتابشو بنويسه
Matthew Quann
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
CANADA READS 2015 WINNER

The acclaimed novella Ru by Kim Thúy is my first read from the CANADA READS 2015 finalists, and its brevity, language, and themes make for a powerful read. Blurring the line between fiction and nonfiction, Ru is the story of one woman's life as she leaves Vietnam with her family, survives the harrowing experiences of a refugee camp, and finally immigrates to Montreal.

What sets this book apart from the typical immigrant story is the format, which sees the story bouncing b
...more
Paula Bardell-Hedley
“In French, ru means a small stream and, figuratively, a flow, a discharge—of tears, of blood, of money. In Vietnamese, ru means a lullaby, to lull.”
It was over forty years ago, but I still have vivid memories of seeing the Vietnamese ‘boat people’ on the evening news, dazed faces, densely packed into small crafts, fleeing their country in terror following the war. They risked much to escape torture, repression, disease, starvation and the notorious re-education camps where they were forced in
...more
Celia
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reading of Ru is to experience life from the horrible to the sublime.

Ru is a fictionalized version of the author’s own experience as a Vietnamese émigré. We meet so many people and experience so many events along the way as we travel with the narrator from Vietnam to Malaysia to Quebec, Canada.

The afterword in the book clearly provides a timeline of what has happened and I have copied some of it to share:

The narrator is ten when her family is forced to flee their home and luxurious lifesty
...more
Maciek
Kim Thúy's Ru was originally published in French in Canada in 2010, where it won the Governor's General award for fiction among others, and secured publication rights in 15 additional countries. The English translation by Sheila Fischman (a specialist in translating French-Canadian literature) was published in 2012, and was shortlisted for Canada's prestigious Giller Prize. It's quite a feat - considering that Ru is Kim Thúy's debut novel, which she published at the age of 41.

Despite its short l
...more
Claire McAlpine
Reading Ru by Kim Thúy is like taking a long overland journey while looking up regularly to witness what passes in front of our eyes. Sometimes the view is stunning, sometimes it elicits sadness, it can be moving, nostalgic, perhaps an odour transports us back to a scene from childhood, a person reminds us of someone we once knew.

Reading it in French imbues it with a drifting, lyrical resonance, sometimes I drifted off as the excess of descriptive words were beyond my reach and I was too lazy to
...more
Sara Kamjou
کتاب لالایی مجموعهای پراکنده از خاطرات نویسنده در زمان جنگ ویتنام و زندگی بعدشه. داستانها جالب و خوندنی هستن ولی نوع روایت داستان رو دوست نداشتم که البته سلیقهایه. ترجیح میدادم یا داستانها به خودی خود جذاب باشن (مثل کتاب عطر سنبل عطر کاج) یا اینکه خط زمانی یا رخدادی یا محتوایی داشته باشن. میزان پراکندگیش تمرکزم رو به هم میزد.
با این حال اگر علاقهمند به داستانهای مستند و تاریخی باشید، این کتاب رو توصیه میکنم، مخصوصا که ترجمه عالی و روونی داشت.
----------
یادگاری از کتاب:
با اینکه رابطهها با خنده و شا
...more
Arielle Walker
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gorgeous-writing
Beautifully poetic - also one of the more unusual ways of storytelling I've come across in some time. I can only image how much lovelier it is in the original French.

“If a mark of affection can sometimes be taken for an insult, perhaps the gesture of love is not universal: it too must be translated from one language to another, must be learned.”

“If I had known what it meant to love, I wouldn't have had children, because once we love, we love forever, like Uncle Two's wife, Step-aunt Two, who ca
...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is an exquisite fictionalized memoir of a Vietnamese refugee who settled in Canada as a child. It's written almost like a prayer of remembrance and thanksgiving. It drifts through time and space, alighting on events and places that shaped a woman who is a part of two worlds, and thus can never wholly belong in either one of those worlds.
Konstantin
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roman prikazan kroz vinjete i kratke, labavim sponama povezane zapise koji osciluju u prostoru i vremenu, kreću se naizgled bez ikakvog napora, lepršaju okolo i pričaju o hrani, tkaninama, životima, običajima, porodici, osećaju dužnosti i nesnađenosti, spojeni jedino određenim likovima i mestima koja defiluju u više ovih priča. Tema migracije i vraćanja korenima vezuje one meditativnije, introspektivnije zapise i stvara roman za sebe unutar ove priče o raseljenoj porodici i o posledicama Vijetna ...more
Neal Adolph
I'm not sure how to write this review. I have the sense that I may have read this book wrong. It is in an exciting format, short fascinating recollections of a life which is told as it is remembered by a quasi-fictional protagonist. And the writing is. The translation may even be very good. At moments it comes off as poetry, or prose poetry. And this is why I think I may have read this book wrong. Like most poetry, it might demand to be read out loud so that its words could become real, its imag ...more
Kathleen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill
The word RU, in Vietnamese, means a lullaby. A song. And indeed, Kim Thuy’s RU is a form of lullaby, evocative, lyrical, beautifully composed.

This is not a novel, at least in the conventional form. In non-chronological order, Kim Thuy offers up memories and musings at a distance – some stunningly rendered (“My parents often remind my brothers and me that they won’t have any money for us to inherit, but I think they’ve already passed on to us the wealth of their memories, allowing us to grasp the
...more
Louise
This book is a collection of short, poetic vignettes describing the author’s life in Vietnam and as a refugee after the fall of Saigon. Having read The Sympathizer I was looking for another fictional treatment Vietnam “after Vietnam”. I reserved it at the library based on GR reviews.

Many of the stories are only a half page, the longest ones barely make two pages. The times and the locations jump around. It can be read in 2-3 hours.

There are images of leaving Vietnam on a boat, living in a refug
...more
Diane S ☔
This was a book of short connecting vignettes, all pertaining to Ru's life past and present. The detail in these stories and the wonderful prose kept me reading. The story goes back and forth, from Vietnam, to a Malaysian refuge camp and than on to Quebec. She comes to understand more things about her mother when she has children of her own. The war in Vietnam, to the struggle to acclimate in a foreign country and than her struggle with her autistic child are all related. In fact it is amazing h ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Based on the author's childhood experiences of fleeing Vietnam during the war and arriving in Canada as a refugee, Ru is a scattering of memories, short vignettes told by Nguyễn An Tịnh (An Tịnh being her first name, which is one punctuation mark different from her mother's). The word "ru" means "small stream" in French; in Vietnamese is means "lullaby" - both meanings capture both the meandering nature of the story, such as it is, as well as the soothing voice of a woman to her past self, the c ...more
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Kim Thúy arrived in Canada in 1979, at the age of ten. She has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer and restaurant owner. She currently lives in Montreal where she devotes herself to writing.

Her debut novel Ru won the Governor General's Award for French language fiction at the 2010 Governor General's Awards. An English edition, translated by Sheila Fischman, was published in 2012 and was a
...more
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“If a mark of affection can sometimes be taken for an insult, perhaps the gesture of love is not universal: it too must be translated from one language to another, must be learned.” 23 likes
“A Saigon Proverb: Doe la chine tran, neu buon la thua. Life is a struggle in which sorrow leads to defeat.” 23 likes
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