Print Close This event has been added to My Schedule Add to calendar Email this list

Kim Thúy: A long journey

New Picture (2)

Rosanne Abdulla
Congress 2012 Correspondent

You don’t need to have read Kim Thúy’s book in order to appreciate the enthusiasm and inspiring spirit that she brought to her presentation A long journey which took place on Saturday, May 26th from 9:30 to 10:30 AM. Having the pleasure of kicking off the Big Thinking Speaker Series for Congress 2012, Thúy began by assuring us that even if you are small, you can think big. Incorporating humorous anecdotes to support her story, Thúy told us about her personal experience as a young refugee, having left Vietnam to arrive in Quebec with her family at the age 10.

Immediately, her perseverance shone through. As she presented memories from her life (which were often quite unpleasant), an immense strength appeared in Thúy. She spoke to us about her current difficulties with French and English (even though, in my opinion, she has mastered both languages), the many jobs that she has had, the grotesque conditions that existed in the refugee camps and the cultural shock that her family experienced when arriving here (they expected to be living in an igloo!). But, the real inspiration for the day came from the fact that she never once complained, merely stating again and again that she feels very blessed.

As soon as she arrived in Quebec, Thúy felt like an adopted child whose parents had been eagerly awaiting her for a long time. This experience was the moment in her life where she felt the most beautiful. Her eyes lit up this morning as she explained that it is to this type of welcoming Quebec citizen that she wished to pay homage when writing Ru.

She explained that her book, published in 2009, does not tell her own story, but the story of the many people that she encountered throughout her life, even those whose faces she cannot recall. What she remembers most about her experiences are the emotions that she felt. Thus, she does not like to call Ru an autobiography because the stories do not only belong to her. In brief, you don’t need to have read Kim Thúy’s book to appreciate her passion and joy, but after her presentation, it was not a surprise to see the line-up of people waiting to buy a copy!

Recent Posts


Big Thinking: Live and online