Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Happiest Refugee - Anh Do

In preparation for an essay on race and sexuality in comedy, I decided now was as good a time as any to read The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do. I had heard the country was a-twitter (figuratively and literally) with nothing but praise for the memoirs of one of Australia's most smiley comedians.

Initially, I thought it would be a rip-roaring read of comedic value, witty prose and hopefully a great reference for my essay, however, I was in no way prepared for the heart/mind/life on sleeve of this man who does little to make anyone assume he comes from a life of hardship.

Don't get me wrong the book provided me with many laugh out loud moments (awkward at times as I was on a train) yet, it also had the most tremendous story of someone who overcame things in life many of us couldn't even dream of being a reality. It twisted the stomach and wet the eye sockets on more than one occasion, providing a glimpse into a situation completely unknown to me. It made me think about the things I would do for a chance at freedom and security.

Source: Slanted Magazine

Anh Do uncovers the shroud of naivety and unknowing which has surrounded the very prominent issue of refugees in our country. He writes with a give and take; he takes from you your pious attitude surrounding the issue and gives meaning and voices to the countless images that flash up on our television screens nightly.

I could not put this book down, I mean really, I finished it in a day. This book is so relevant for the current climate of our political stance on refugees and also our societies stance on assimilation and cultural divide. Not only that but it also does that really great thing, it pulls you back to reality and makes you realise things aren't so bad in our hectic bubble lives.

I insist everyone read this book, if for no other reason than it does what is says on the back cover, 'it makes you laugh and it makes you cry', to me the sign of a truly well written story. In the words of Anh's father "There's now and there's too late."

1 comment:

  1. I have this book haven't got round to reading everyone has said it's really good but I feel as though should go start reading it now after reading this :p
    I can so see you just laughing(that classic sarah laugh) on the bus by yourself haha with everyone giving you wierd looks ha


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