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Thi Bui’s graphic memoir The Best We Could Do opens with the birth of her son in a New York City hospital in 2005. “Family is now something I have created,” Bui writes, “and not just something I was born into.” With that, we are propelled back and forth in time, witnessing Bui’s teenage years in San Diego, her parents’ escape from the fall of South Vietnam in 1978 when Bui was a small child, and back even further to her father’s childhood when Vietnam was still part of French Indochina.

In Chapter 3, Bui writes of her growing fascination with the supernatural as a child after her father would tell her scary stories. In the following excerpt she recalls a dream she would have on late night car rides after visiting family friends.

Tomorrow, Friday, June 2, come hear Thi Bui read alongside An-My Lê at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, followed by a conversation with AAWW Board Member Anne Ishii.

To read, click on first panel to enlarge, then click through all eight panels.

Excerpted from Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do, courtesy Abrams Comicarts.

Thi Bui is a writer, artist, and former public school teacher. She came to the US as a refugee in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and continues to advocate for refugees and immigrants today. She lives in Berkeley, California, with her son, her husband, and her mother. The Best We Could Do is her debut graphic novel.

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