Book Club on Em by Kim Thúy
In May 2022, the Albertine Book Club will discuss Em by Kim Thúy, translated by Sheila Fischman and published by Seven Stories Press.
In the midst of war, an ordinary miracle: an abandoned baby tenderly cared for by a young boy living on the streets of Saigon. The boy is Louis, the child of a long-gone American soldier. Louis calls the baby em Hồng, em meaning “little sister,” or “beloved.” Even though her cradle is nothing more than a cardboard box, em Hồng’s life holds every possibility.
Through the linked destinies of a family of characters, the novel takes its inspiration from historical events, including Operation Babylift, which evacuated thousands of biracial orphans from Saigon in April 1975, and the remarkable growth of the nail salon industry, dominated by Vietnamese expatriates all over the world. From the rubber plantations of Indochina to the massacre at My Lai, Kim Thúy sifts through the layers of pain and trauma in stories we thought we knew, revealing transcendent moments of grace, and the invincibility of the human spirit.
Albertine Members will receive a Zoom invitation to join this book club session via email.
The Albertine Book Club is free and open to Albertine Constellation members. Speakers of French and English are both welcome. For more information on how to become an Albertine member, click here.