Staff Pick of the Week 12/28/17

  • Comic: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
  • Staff Member: Julie

This painful first autobiographic work by Thi Bui has been praised all year and I'll continue to do just that right here. Bui draws a very stark and detailed look into her parents' union in Vietnam and their eventual departure to the U.S. with their children in the 1970s. The Vietnam War was beyond catastrophic for everyone involved but here we get a chance to see the Vietnamese side struggling to make sense of it while desperately seeking refuge.

Bui's storytelling wavers between timelines throughout the story, but with no confusion and a tight sense of what kind of story she wants to unfold. She weaves her parents' story, her early upbringing, and her current relationship with her family into one book that pays great attention to each part.  It is so exceptional that she is able to convey an entire family’s output of experiences into a beautifully rendered graphic novel. This book is a must read for anyone curious about the immigration, war, refugees, or just family dramas.

This comic has been out for some time this year, but if you haven't gotten the chance to read it yet, I highly recommend checking my favorite non-fiction book of the year.