21 books we loved in 2017

Amy Wang of Oregon Live reviews The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen.

Viet Thanh Nguyen, “The Refugees” (Grove Atlantic, 240 pages, $16)

This collection of short stories is thematically united around the experience of Vietnamese immigrants following the Vietnam War, but in every other way differs beautifully in its approach (sometimes realist, as in “The Transplant,” and sometimes fantastical, as in “Black-Eyed Women”), its protagonists and its tone. Nguyen allows the reader time with the characters in vivid, plausible scenes that might otherwise have been lost to exposition.

Melissa Lewis

(Nguyen speaks May 8 in Portland as part of the Portland Arts & Lectures Series.) 

Category: Reviews

 

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