The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do

Courtesy of Allen & Unwin

In March, Australian stand-up comedian and actor Anh Do was announced the winner of the Indie Book of the Year 2011 for his memoir The Happiest Refugee.

Each year Australia’s independent booksellers vote on the award and 2011 is the first time that a work of non-fiction has won. It is the story of his family’s plight as refugees and their struggle to escape from war-torn Vietnam on a rickety boat to Australia. It is also the wonderful story of the life he has built for himself ever since in his new home.
At the time of his win, I heard an interview with Do on ABC Radio and was moved to tears by his humble nature and inspirational story. I hadn’t read the book but now that I have I can highly recommend it. It is wonderful and made me cry and then really laugh out loud.
The book is a collection of short sharp stories that make up his memoir. The stories are brutally honest, funny and heart-breakingly sad.
At a time when our politicians argue the over the details regarding the plight of refugees to Australia, this is timely and an honest reminder that not everyone has freedom and a future that they deserve.

For a full review of the novel, see FULL REVIEW

The Happiest Refugee (Allen & Unwin, 2010, ISBN:978174237 2389(pb), 232 pages).

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