Seven Stories Press is delighted to announce that Em, written by award-winning Vietnamese-born Canadian author Kim Thúy and translated from French by acclaimed Canadian translator Sheila Fischman joins the six-strong shortlist (out of 70 books longlisted) for the prestigious Dublin Literary Award.

Em is a story of the Vietnamese diaspora, based on the author’s own family’s experience as refugees, including the fall of Saigon in April 1975 and the Operation Babylift airlift of orphans.

A slim, minimalist novel, Em is a profound account of the complexities of exile, using fragmented narratives to powerfully explore overlapping histories. 

Em accomplishes in some 160 pages what has taken many historians volumes to tell” (Asian Review of Books)

Of the Dublin Literary Award shortlisting, Kim Thúy said:

“Librarians are the most sophisticated and discerning group of readers as they steward and pass on knowledge and imagination every day. To be nominated by them is both a unique privilege and the greatest of honours.”

Sheila Fischman said:

“Delicate prose is here employed to bring alive some of the ugliest and most cruel times when groups of some Vietnamese played havoc with their brothers, their fellows. Happily (for the characters, at any rate) love does prevail. This, the fourth of Kim Thuy’s novels that I have translated, takes readers above, beneath, beyond a conventional tale of war and peace. A triumph.”

Dan Simon, publisher at Seven Stories Press, commented:

“Kim Thúy’s accomplishment in Em is terrifying because it marks the return of the refugee to the scenes of collective human catastrophe of her childhood, images that truly cannot ever be left behind, and yet it also tells an intimate love story of the globetrotting age. I’m greatly honoured to have had the opportunity to publish Em, alongside her Quebecois publisher, Éditions Libre Expression, and Canadian English language publisher, Random House Canada. Em certainly was not an easy book to write, even though it is a joy to read. Sheila Fischman’s translation is superb.”