First Second Family Style: Memoirs of an American from Vietnam
First Second Family Style: Memoirs of an American from Vietnam

Family Style: Memoirs of an American from Vietnam

By Thien Pham


Publication Date: June 20, 2023

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Join us on Saturday, August 12 at 1:00pm as we welcome author-illustrator Thien Pham to celebrate his graphic novel debut, Family Style: Memories of an American in Vietnam. Thien will be in conversation with one of our favorite local authors, Randy Ribay. We will also have delicious treats from from our neighbors at The Pho Cabin!


Ages 14 to 18

Originally posted on Instagram, this young adult graphic novel details the author's childhood immigration to America with his family, through the lens of particularly meaningful food and meals.

Thien's first memory isn't a sight or a sound. It's the sweetness of watermelon and the saltiness of fish. It's the taste of the foods he ate while adrift at sea as his family fled Vietnam.

After the Pham family arrives at a refugee camp in Thailand, they struggle to survive. Things don't get much easier once they resettle in California. And through each chapter of their lives, food takes on a new meaning. Strawberries come to signify struggle as Thien's mom and dad look for work. Potato chips are an indulgence that bring Thien so much joy that they become a necessity.

Behind every cut of steak and inside every croissant lies a story. And for Thien Pham, that story is about a search—for belonging, for happiness, for the American dream.

About the Author

Thien Pham is a graphic novelist, comic artist, and educator based in Oakland, CA. He is the author and illustrator of the graphic novel Sumo and did the art for the middle-grade graphic novel Level Up, written by Gene Luen Yang. He is an ongoing comic contributor to EaterSF and as such eats. A lot. Follow Thien on Twitter at @CobraTalon, and Instagram at @thiendog

Format: Paperback - with flaps

Length: 240 pages

Publisher: First Second

Publication Date: June 20, 2023

ISBN: 9781250809728

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