The Best We Could Do

An Illustrated Memoir



ISBN: 9781419718786 Category:

Thi Bui


“A book to break your heart and heal it.” – Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer

? 4 starred reviews ? Booklist, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Shelf Awareness

An ABA Indies Introduce Winter/ Spring 2017 Selection

A Summer 2017 Indie Next Selection

Now in paperback, Thi Bui’s critically acclaimed and beautifully illustrated story of her family’s journey from their war-torn home in Vietnam to their new lives in America. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and family, Bui documents the difficulties immigrants face as they build new lives for themselves. At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: adjusting to life as a first-time mother. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, The Best We Could Do examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home, providing inspiration to all who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.

Additional information

Weight 705 g
Dimensions 16.6 x 23.1 cm
Publisher name ABRAMS
Publication date 1 May 2018
Number of pages 344
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 16.6 x 23.1 cm
Weight 705 g


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Thi Bui was born in Việt Nam three months before the end of the American War and came to the United States in 1978 as part of the “boat people” wave of refugees from Southeast Asia. Her debut graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do (Abrams ComicArts, 2017), has been selected as UCLA’s Common Book for 2017, a National Book Critics Circle finalist in autobiography, an Eisner Award finalist in Reality-Based Work, and made several “best of 2017” book lists, including Bill Gates’s top five picks. Bui is also the Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator of A Different Pond, a picture book by the poet Bao Phi (Capstone, 2017). Her short comics can be found online at The Nib, Reveal News, PEN America, and BOOM California. Bui taught high school in New York City and was a founding teacher of Oakland International High School, the first public high school in California for recent immigrants and English learners. Since 2015, she has been a faculty member of the MFA in Comics program at the California College of the Arts. Bui lives in the Bay Area.