Kim Thúy left Vietnam as a boat person when she was 10 years old. She has worked as a seamstress, an interpreter, a lawyer, and a restaurant chef/owner and been a guest chef on various radio and television channels. This has all served as a backdrop for her true calling as a writer.
Now recognized as an influential novelist, Thúy is sharing her story and will be the featured speaker at the University of Lethbridge’s 23rd Annual International Dinner on Thursday, March 10, 2016 in the Students’ Union Ballroom.
“Kim’s story as a landed immigrant is especially relevant today and one that needs to be told,” says Diane Minamide, coordinator International Programs & Exchanges for International Student Services at the U of L. “We’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to bring Kim here to speak. The International Dinner is a wonderful celebration of diversity at the University and the incredible value our international students bring to the U of L experience.”
Thúy, who lives in Montreal, has written two books that have been described as poetic, seductive, and wondrous. ru, her first novel, was published by Libre Expression in October 2009. It was shortlisted on a variety of literary awards and won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Grand Prix RTL/Lire 2010, the Grand Prix du Salon du Livre de Montréal 2010, and others. To date, translation rights for the novel have been sold in 20 countries.
Her second book, mãn, was co-authored by Pascal Janovjak and published in September 2011 by Libre Expression. In April 2013, the book was chosen for the Barnes & Noble Discovery prize and was a finalist of the Prix des 5 Continents.
Thúy’s talk is titled The Canadian Life of a Vietnamese Boat Person and will serve as the central event for an evening of ethnic cuisine. Beginning at 5 p.m. with cocktails, dinner will follow at 6:30 p.m. and feature food from throughout the world. Thúy will then take the podium at 7:30 p.m. for her presentation. A silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the International Students’ Entrance Scholarship, will be available for bidding throughout the night.