Kim Thuy

Kim Thuy, novelist (born at Saigon, Vietnam 1968). At the age of 10, Kim Thuy left Vietnam with her parents and 2 brothers, fleeing the country's communist regime. After a stay in a refugee camp in Malaysia, the family, like many refugees who then qualified as "boat people," arrived in Granby, in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Their adaptations to the climate, language and culture of their new home, though difficult at times, were eased by the warmth of their neighbours' welcome.

After trying various occupations - farm worker, seamstress, cashier, cook - Kim Thuy pursued studies at the Université de Montréal where she completed degrees in linguistics and translation, then in law. At the same time, she opened a restaurant in Montréal to introduce the city to the cuisine of her native country. When the restaurant closed Thuy began to write, fulfilling a long-held ambition.

Thuy's first novel, Ru (2009), fictionalizes her family's long journey from Vietnam to Québec and their discovery of their new environment. Writing in a frank and simple manner, the author presents short, moving accounts that trace her family's small adaptive gestures to their new daily reality, and their longing for the country they left behind.

Critics have praised Ru (which means "lullaby" in Vietnamese) since its release, and it has been published in several languages. In March 2010, Kim Thuy won the highly-coveted Grand Prix RTL-Lire at the Salon du livre in Paris, and in November 2010, the prestigious Governor General's Literary Award.