Review: The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Title: The Refugees
Author: Viet Than Nguyen
Pages: 224
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction
Source: Free ARC from Grove Atlantic

Rating: A-

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Grove Atlantic via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).

Review: For days, I’ve been struggling to come up with the right words to describe this collection of short stories. It seems impossible to do them justice with my limited vocabulary. The stories are subtle, but not stark. Quiet, but full of meaning. The sentences are eloquent, the stories direct. These stories are about immigration, and finding your way in a foreign land, about the struggles of getting to a new country, and the pain of leaving the old one. They are about the pasts we never think about, pasts that are put behind to make the best foot forward, about defining yourself and finding a way to fit where it seems you don’t belong. But it’s also about love and loss and sacrifice, understanding and acceptance, family and obligation, redefining ourselves, and the many faces we wear. Most importantly, particularly given our current political climate, these stories give life to refugees, humanizing them in a way that heartbreaking news stories don’t, showing them as more than the tragedy that has been visited upon them, showing them as people, like us, humans of flesh and blood, heart and soul, who want the same things most people do.

4 Replies to “Review: The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen”

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