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)—the second largest university in Houston—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 Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. Annually, UHD educates more than 14,000 students; boasts over 50,000 alumni and offers 44 bachelor’s and eight master’s degree programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service, Sciences & Technology; and University College). In 2018, UHD grew its First Time in College student population by 11 percent and transfer students by 14 percent.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston. It also is ranked among 15 U.S. universities with lowest net price to students (according to the U.S. Department of Education). The University is noted nationally as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.