Friday, July 31, 2009

Short Girls & Serendipity

Google alerts are wonderful things: no sooner do I post a tiny mention of my having enjoyed Olive Kittredge then I get a really lovely email from a publicist, “I know this may seem out of the blue, but Elizabeth Strout blurbed a book and I wonder if by any chance you might be interested? It’s about Vietnamese sisters and the author is a professor at Purdue.”

Wait. Really?

I wrote right back, in spite of my usual efforts to slow down summer correspondence: I am a sister, raising a pair of daughters: I love books about sisters. I grew up in Seattle and, from the fall of Saigon in 1975 to my graduation in from high school, I have known Vietnamese refugees and immigrants. I used to teach at Purdue. What book could be better?

So, Bich Minh Nguyen’s Short Girls arrived up on this gravel road, quick as a whistle. You think you’ve left the city, but we still get the mail here and it doesn’t take long at all.

What a good book. I have a lot more to say about this book, but I’ll save that for another post. It’s a really fine novel and worth a read. In the mean time, you can read more about Nguyen (whose first name is pronounced “bit”—a fitting pun for a 4’11” writer obsessed with height) here and here.

1 comment:

Yen said...

Why indeed, Google Alerts are wonderful things! :)