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The Manicurist's Daughter and Related Fundraiser


Book Cover of Susan Lieu's The Manicurist's Daughter


I recently finished an advance reader's copy of Susan Lieu's memoir, The Manicurist's Daughter. Lieu's memoir was published today ( 3/12/24) and the author is hosting a fundraising event in coordination with her book release.


My Literary Road Trip Boxes feature fiction books, but my personal reading habits include a lot of non-fiction. I feel compelled to share this book with you because I simply cannot stop thinking about it.


Lieu was born in the United States to parents who were Vietnam refugees. When Lieu was eleven, her mother died during cosmetic surgery and it was revealed that the doctor was negligent. However, due to a mix of language/cultural barriers and laws in California, the Lieu family did not receive their proper settlement and the doctor kept practicing, despite a history of negligence that extended beyond Lieu's mother.


In college and during her adult years, Lieu began to explore how her mother's death, affected her. This included mixed messages that Lieu received as a child regarding body image, beauty standards, and strength. Lieu struggled to reconcile the mother that was the leader of their household, a woman who made bold decisions, with someone who struggled with her body image.


This confusion and desire to understand her family led Lieu to create a one-woman stage show and share her family story with a broader audience, which is expanded upon in The Manicurist's Daughter.


As someone who also lost a parent at a young age, I related to Lieu's search to understand her parents, especially when the details have been withheld. Beyond this point of relatability, I was fascinated by the details of her parent's escape from Vietnam and by the day-to-day aspects of how their culture meshed with their new home in America. Lieu's writing is raw and vulnerable.


If you enjoy memoirs, this is one that you should pick up. It is already getting buzz, as it was recently picked as Apple's audio book of the month. If you like audio books, I recommend that you check it out on LibroFM, which supports indie bookstores.


Additionally, Lieu has a goal of getting her story out to immigrants and children of immigrants. She is raising money to give free copies of her book through her Intergenerational Healing Book Fund. I feel like she explains this best through her own words, so if you are interested in what she is doing, please click on the link above.

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