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Thi Bui

photo of the author
I'd heard a lot of the stories growing up, and the stories were pretty heavy ... so I had this kind of heaviness that I grew up with, and I wanted to make sense of the stories.

Thi Bui is a Vietnamese American cartoonist and author of the critically acclaimed illustrated memoir, The Best We Could Do. Her work seeks to make sense of the stories that history leaves behind.

Thi’s debut graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do, is the story of her family in the years before, during, and after the Vietnam War. It was selected for an American Book Award, a Common Book for UCLA and other colleges and universities, a National Book Critics Circle finalist, and was an Eisner Award finalist. Her memoir was included in Bill Gates’ Top 5 Books of 2017, and was called, “A book to break your heart and heal it,” by Pulitzer Prize-winner Viet Thanh Nguyen.

book cover of The Best We Could Do by Thi BuiA veteran illustrator, Thi’s short comics can be found online at The Nib, PEN America, and BOOM California. She is a contributor to Refugees Anthology, published by Abrams Press, and illustrated A Different Pond, a 2018 Caldecott Honor Book, with writer Bao Phi. With her son, Hien, she co-illustrated the children’s book, Chicken of the Sea written by Viet Thanh Nguyen and his son, Ellison.

Thi is currently researching and drawing a work of graphic nonfiction about immigrant detention and deportation, to be published by One World, Random House.