One City One Book - 2018

The Best We Could Do
One City One Book 2018 banner

book cover San Francisco Public Library is excited to announce that the 14th Annual One City One Book selection is The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui.

In what Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls "a book to break your heart and heal it," The Best We Could Do explores the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child. Thi Bui documents her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves in America. The Best We Could Do is a haunting memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for a simpler past. As the child of a country and a war she can’t remember, Bui’s dreamlike artwork brings to life her journey to understanding her own identity in a way that only comics can.

Since the publication of the hardcover in March 2017, The Best We Could Do has made a place for itself in the graphic novel canon and has received 5 starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, School Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness. It was also nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in the autobiography category and made it onto over thirty “Best of 2017” lists everywhere from the Washington Post to Entertainment Weekly. Thi Bui is a rising star in the comics and literary world, and her debut work is not to be missed.

Copies of The Best We Could Do are featured in all San Francisco libraries and at bookstores around the city.

Beginning September 2018, join book discussions, view themed exhibits, attend author talks and participate in many other One City One Book events. Program guide coming soon.

About the Author

Thi Bui
Thi Bui was born in Vietnam three months before the end of the Vietnam 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) was a national bestseller and has been selected as National Book Critics Circle finalist, an Indies Introduce pick, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers title, and a Junior Library Guild selection. She is also the illustrator of A Different Pond, a children’s book by acclaimed poet Bao Phi (Capstone, 2017). 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. She currently teaches in the MFA in Comics program at the California College of the Arts. She lives in Berkeley with her son, her husband, and her mother.

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