This book was an excellent find from reading book reviews. How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa is a collection of stories with funny, wrenching realities of trying to build a life far from home. (cover blurb)
The author was born in a Lao refugee camp in Thailand. She was raised and educated in Toronto, Canada. Now a prize winning author, this collection rings true, no doubt, from her experiences. The title story - a young girl brings home a book and has her father help her with pronouncing "knife". Alas, it's a tricky word, and back at school, the language exposes her to ridicule.
In other stories, a failed boxer works in his sister's nail salon, a young woman navigates working at a chicken processing plant, and in other stories you've got youth versus parents - all trying to figure out life, work, and keeping your self while assimilating.
I enjoyed How to Pronounce Knife - the stories were interesting, entertaining, well written, and thought provoking.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.