Summer Reading

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The campus-wide summer reading for the 2020-2021 academic year is The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui.

About the book

Thi Bui was born in Vietnam and came to the United States in 1978 as part of the "boat people" wave of refugees fleeing Southeast Asia at the end of the Vietnam War. Her graphic memoir tells the story of her family’s journey, her quest to understand her parents in the context of the complex history of the country “that was once home,” and her probing of her own identity as she becomes a parent herself.

You may purchase this edition of the campus-wide summer reading, The Best We Could Do, through the Luther College Book Shop (ISBN-13: 978-1419718786). You will need to complete your reading of The Best We Could Do before you arrive on campus in August.

About the author

Thi Bui was born in Vietnam and came to the United States in 1978 as part of the "boat people" wave of refugees fleeing Southeast Asia at the end of the Vietnam War. Her debut graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do (Abrams ComicArts, 2017) has been selected for an American Book Award, is a Common Book for UCLA, Luther College and other colleges and universities, is an all-city read through the Seattle and San Francisco public libraries, a National Book Critics Circle finalist in autobiography, and an Eisner Award finalist in reality-based comics. It made over thirty best of 2017 book lists, including Bill Gates' top five picks.

Bui also illustrated the picture book, A Different Pond, written by the poet Bao Phi (Capstone, 2017), for which she won a Caldecott Honor. With her son, Hien, she co-illustrated the children’s book, Chicken of the Sea (McSweeney’s, 2019), written by Pulitzer winner Viet Thanh Nguyen and his son, Ellison. Her short comics can be found online at The Nib, PEN America, and BOOM California. She is currently researching and drawing a work of graphic nonfiction about immigrant detention and deportation, to be published by One World, Random House.