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KIU Book Club: The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen


KIU, Western Campus - Following the recent takeover of power in Afghanistan by the hardline militant group the Taliban, news quickly broke of a deal brokered between the US government and Uganda to host over 2,000 Afghan refugees.

As we await the arrival of our Afghan brothers and sisters, you should read the Refugees to try and understand more of what they are going through as refugees in this modern era.

Nguyen's fiction book, The Refugees, is a collection of perfectly formed stories written over a period of twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family.

Viet Thanh Nguyen gives voice to lives led between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth. 

From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration. 

The second piece of fiction by a major new voice in American letters, The Refugees is a beautifully written and sharply observed book about the aspirations of those who leave one country for another and the relationships and desires for self-fulfillment that define our lives.

Review sourced from