Graphic Novelist Thi Bui Delivering Reading, Presentation
By Mike Emery
After fleeing a war-torn Vietnam, Thi Bui and her family arrived in the United States in the late 1970s. Their emotional voyage was harrowing, and building new lives in a new land presented many challenges. Still, Bui endured and was able to capture her experience as a refugee, immigrant, daughter, and later, a parent, in the acclaimed graphic novel “The Best We Could Do.”
Houstonians soon can share in Bui’s journey. The graphic novelist and educator will deliver a reading and presentation at 4 p.m., Monday, March 18 in the University of Houston-Downtown’s TDECU Tour Room (located in the University’s Welcome Center). Her presentation is sponsored by UHD’s Department of English.
The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP.
Bui’s illustrated memoir was published in 2017 by Abrams ComicArts. It addresses themes of motherhood, displacement, immigration, identity and home. Since its release, “The Best We Could Do” has earned critical praise and was nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award (honoring excellence in comics and graphic novels). It was selected for the University of California, Los Angeles’ Common Book in 2017 and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle autobiography category.
In addition to “The Best We Could Do,” Bui has collaborated with poet Bao Phi on the book “A Different Pond” and contributed pieces to online comics publication The Nib and online literary journal PEN America. Bui is a lecturer at California College of the Arts teaching classes in its Master of Fine Arts in Comics program.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.