The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
This is one of the new pieces of short fiction that I discovered this year and what a thrill it was to read. Viet Than Nguyen’s stories pack full and powerful punches. I was particularly intrigued because of the way he delves into the Vietnamese immigrant experience, something that I had not really known a lot about and was pleased to learn more about in the stories in this collection.
Her voice was urgent, and when she suddenly leaned forward, I was afraid she was going to reach across the sewing machine and grasp my hand. I willed myself not to back away from her fingers, two of them bandaged as if she had pricked herself with needles. I felt I had to say something, and so I said, “I’m sorry.”