The following piece was commissioned as part of the Illustrated PEN‘s State of Emergency feature, intended to bring forward the voices and stories of communities whose concerns and lives may be most at risk under the new administration. Our hope is that the stories created for this series will help empower and inspire people to stand up and speak out and to begin to repair what’s been so thoroughly broken.
Thi Bui was born in Vietnam three months before the end of the Vietnam War, and immigrated to the U.S. with her family in 1978. Her forthcoming graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do (Abrams, March 2017) has been selected as both an Indies Introduce and Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers title. She has just finished illustrating A Different Pond, a children’s book by Bao Phi (Capstone, Fall 2017). Thi 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.